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The Rising Risk of Being CFO

This article in exposes how the CFO is being held accountable legally (in addition to ethically) for events occurring in their businesses.

Do you agree with the trend?


Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

I can see how stakeholder expectations can rise to levels where failure to act is seen as compliance with the "wrongful" event. Companies don't make decisions (they are inanimate objects, can't speak or write), but their authorized leaders can and do.

It's a challenging topic. This excerpt below got me thinking though:

"All surely true. But as Kevin LaCroix, executive vice president of specialty insurance broker and consultant RT ProExec explains, the Yates memo sets the stage for potentially deep conflicts of interest between corporations, which often want to earn cooperation credit, and their own executives, who want to avoid individual prosecution.

“If it appears the company is targeting you,” Carney says, “you have to ask the question, ‘Is it better to go directly to the government?’”"

You cannot have a conflict between a human and an abstract entity, the corporation. You can have conflicts between humans working for, and representing, the corporation. So, if the CFO has a conflict, it has to be with one or more peers. And if they cannot agree to agree, then the conflict should be put before the board to review. And legal counsel and auditors should evaluate the issue.

Utopian fantasy, or time to reset the bar?


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