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Duties and liabilities of CFO's for privately held companies

I’m looking for authoritative guidance in regards to CFO duties and liabilities as it related to privately held companies.


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Dear Owner,

Not knowing how big your company is, complex, industry sector, etc could help create a macro overview; but it is just for this reason that there isn't a one-size fit-all framework.

The larger the company or more complex will have the CFO doing more strategic initiatives. But that doesn't mean a smaller or less complex companies requires any less strategic job duties.

Liabilities are tied to what they place their signature on as well as the authority given to them by you the owner. Ultimate responsibility still resides with you. But then again, the more senior managers you have, some of those responsibilities will be delegated.

They have a fiduciary responsibility, but it might not be total, for example you will probably have a Controller and possibly a Treasurer.

They should be the ethical center of the organization, so if you have a sudden burst of creativity that is out of bounds (legally or ethically) they should be shooting down or modifying that idea to one which bring it out of the "red" zone and into the green or at least yellow zone (and everyone's yellow (some use a black and white chromatic scale) is different.

Not an easy question to answer... but hope this is a start.



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