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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

CEOs Have More Financial Insight, Say CFOs

May 10, 2005 (SmartPros) — Chief executive officers currently on trial may not have known about the fraud occurring within their companies, suggests a CFO Magazine survey.

The survey of 314 senior finance executives found that 31 percent of public company CFOs believe that their CEOs could have remained unaware of major fraud prior to the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The survey also suggests that Sarbanes-Oxley has successfully forced CEOs to become better acquainted with finance. Only 14 percent of public company CFOs think their CEOs could remain ignorant of major financial fraud today.

Yet CFOs are skeptical that the top managers of Enron, HealthSouth and WorldCom didn't know about their companies' financial deceptions. 81 percent think it is unlikely that Kenneth Lay didn't know about Enron's fraud, 83 percent think Richard Scrushy likely knew about HealthSouth's fraud, and 81 percent think that Bernard Ebbers was probably aware of WorldCom's fraud.

Among other findings, 95 percent of CFOs say that their CEO is moderately or deeply involved in significant corporate financial decisions. 46 percent say this level of involvement has increased since the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley. CFOs gave CEOs generally high marks for their grasp of six areas of financial management.

posted by Brian Moran @ 8:44 AM   0 comments

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