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Meet the Vatican's Finance Chief: This Week in the Back Office

Church Financial Management, Writ Large

This week, The Wall Street Journal published a fascinating look at a finance leader with difficult job: Cardinal George Pell, the pope's finance officer tasked with managing the Vatican's finances.

It's a big job with, as the article lays out, many challenges: from navigating a sprawling bureaucracy — the Vatican alone has 136 departments with separate accounting processes — to balancing internal rivalries, extensive financial interests, and the need to reassure followers worldwide about the church's financial practices.

Nonprofit finance pros, including church leaders , can certainly empathize with the need for transparency and trust. But the scale is completely different within one of the largest religious organizations in the world. Check out the full story.

Leave Expense Reporting to the 'Bots?



2016 has been declared the "Year of the Chatbot." We can type, text or talk with bots to order a pizza, shop for makeup or log a complaint. Next up? Filling out an expense report. Check out the full story.

In Praise of Free Tech Tools



Startup founder Sheri Atwood explains the wisdom of using affordable (or, in her case, free) software tools to get a nascent business off the ground. Check out the full story.

The Secret to a Seamless M&A? Savvy Finance Tech



There's a new reason companies are eager to upgrade their financial software: to make it easier to acquire (and integrate) companies that might have vastly different technologies or back-office processes. Check out the full story.

Penny-Pinching Tips for Event Planners



Events can be a great way to drum up new business — but without proper management, they can wreak financial and logistical havoc. Jess Black, who more than 35 events per year for marketing technology provider Contently, offers a few tricks to limit the insanity. Check out the full story.

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