Private Company CFOs Making Accounting Changes Too

March 6, 2003 ( - A majority of chief financial officers (CFO) in private companies are taking reform steps because of new accounting regulations that have placed the spotlight on their public brethren.

Some 58% of CFOs in privately held businesses said they are implementing new practices in response to these regulations. Steps they reported taking included changing their firms’ accounting procedures and enhancing their organizations’ internal audit function, according to the study conducted by Robert Half Management Resources.

The 1,400 CFOs were asked, “In light of new corporate governance standards, what steps has your company taken or does it plan to take to ensure greater control of accounting processes?” Among the 58% who cited specific actions, their responses were:

  • 44% – Review or change current accounting procedures
  • 36% – Create or expand internal audit function
  • 23% – Hire an independent firm for consulting work
  • 8% – Restructure executive compensation plans
  • 2% – Other

Some 37% of the 1,400 CFOs polled indicated they are not taking any of the above steps, and 5% do not know what steps, if any, they would take.