Audit Committee Brief: September 2012

Understanding the CFO’s perspective


In many organizations, the role of the CFO is expanding, and associated pressures and expectations are increasing. Understanding what is top of mind for CFOs and communicating regularly can help enhance the effectiveness of the audit committee’s oversight role. By cultivating a robust relationship with the CFO the audit committee can facilitate a mutual exchange of perspectives on reporting, economic, regulatory, governance, and risk issues.

Top 10 areas of focus for CFOs

Deloitte LLP’s CFO Program identifies core concerns of CFOs through a variety of initiatives, including i) quarterly CFO Signals surveys that capture the thinking of CFOs representing North America’s largest companies, ii) more than 75 CFO Forums focused on a variety of industries, regions, and topics; and iii) scores of CFO Transition Labs held each year. 

The following list shows the 10 frequent areas of focus for CFOs based on information collected from CFOs who participated in these activities. Audit committees may wish to evaluate the applicability of these topics to their situations and consider whether additional discussion with the CFO on a topic is warranted.

  1. Global volatility
  2. Fragility of the U.S. recovery
  3. Identifying the right growth strategies
  4. Execution missteps
  5. Hiring stalemate
  6. Cash deployment and liquidity management
  7. Wild-card risks
  8. Government policy and regulation handicaps
  9. Identifying and developing talent
  10. Time management

Download the PDF for further insights.