The CFOs of public companies and companies aspiring to go public know all too well that public reporting and, in particular, financial reporting is a rigorously demanding process. The constant influx of accounting changes by standards setters, the high bar of accountability set by external auditors and the heightened scrutiny of audit committees create a tough playing field for the CFO’s team – not to mention changes in the marketplace, a steady array of emerging risks, rising CEO expectations, and increasing demands of executives throughout the organization for reliable information they can trust. And all of these things were true before the COVID-19 pandemic added stress to the economy and complexity to certain aspects of financial reporting.
Financial reporting is unique, as it is often viewed as an obligation that comes with the territory. But it’s much more than that. In the eyes of the investment community, it manifests the integrity of the organization. That is why quality reporting, both internal and external, is the hallmark of any CFO organization because it underpins – or can undermine – the company’s very reputation and brand image.
There are three matters germane to the CFO organization’s core objective of financial reporting integrity I wish to discuss: the implementation of new accounting standards, advocating for financial reporting in a changing environment and the emerging era of reporting critical audit matters (CAMs).
Source: Forbes (2020)