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The Cost Of Being A Ceo Or Cfo

1367 words - 6 pages

In light of the recent corporate scandals and new regulations, do you think being a CFO will become a more desirable position or a less desirable position for an executive to have? As one who at one time aspired to become a chief financial officer, recent corporate scandals and new regulations have caused me to rethink my aspirations. A review of current literature, recent events and their effects on the position of Chief Executive Officer has given me a new regard to the position and made me realize that being a CFO is a less desirable career goal for a prospective corporate executive. I feel my opinion mirrors that of many aspiring executives.Daniel Gross wrote an article entitled ?Revenge ...view middle of the document...

knows the role of CFO is much more. He believes that ?the CFO has become a business adviser?who also has a full understanding of accounting, risk management, taxation and all of the financial tools a company needs to run and monitor its businesses? (Myers, 2002).Corporate scandal in American brought about the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. The collapse of Enron and the bankruptcies of several major telecom companies, including Global Crossing and WorldCom, prompted concentrated examination of corporate financial disclosures. The passage of this act ironically was swallowed up in the media by the very corporate scandals this act sought to eliminate. Ultimately, the purpose of Sarbanes-Oxley was to restore investor confidence in publicly traded corporations in the United States. Sarbanes-Oxley created a significant, new oversight and regulatory regime over the public accounting industry and imposed many important and potentially far-reaching reforms in company governance and disclosure requirements (Longnecker, 2004).It is now apparent that the Sarbanes-Oxley regulations are not only punishing those corrupt executives and accountants whose fraudulent schemes incited the Sarbanes-Oxley Act but also it is inadvertently punishing those who are not corrupt and never will be. The regulations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the accountability expressed in the act are affecting executive positions in corporate America especially that of the CFO. More emphasis is being placed on the credibility of any company?s top executives. Much of the scrutiny is placed upon the CFO whose primary responsibility is the company?s financial health ? past, present, and future. Are the regulations forcing companies to pay far greater attention to corporate governance? Will it make any real difference in the long run since honest companies typically were already doing what is required under the law, and dishonest executives will likely not be deterred anyway? The increased accountability is causing increased pressure and stress on the Chief Financial Officer. The stress of meeting the requirements for corporate financial accountability is taking its toll. Sixty-two percent of senior financial executives responding to a poll by CFO Magazine felt that they were under ?great? or ?very great? pressure at work. Sixty-three percent believed that this pressure was causing stress, which was having harmful effects on their health (Frieswick, 2004).Jim Rea, CFO of American-Marsh Pumps in Collierville, Tennessee is just one example. The increased hours and pressures of the position of CFO kept him dancing to try to keep it all together. One day an intense pain gripped his chest. He went from his office to the emergency room by ambulance. Luckily the pain was only an anxiety attack. The pain also was an eye opener. Three months later, he quit his job (Frieswick, 2004).Studies have shown that implementation of the...

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