Chapter Nineteen

Establishing Accounting Processes

A DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE CFO role is the natural rhythm that results from the schedule for producing financial reports. Typically, the financial organization is producing financial statements on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis, along with comparisons against prior periods, budgets, and forecasts.


For CFOs, the regularity of the financial reporting schedule is both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, the relentless reporting requirements represent a series of challenges, with more downside than upside for the typical CFO. The financial organization performs repetitive and laborious reviews and reconciliations involving a multitude of schedules and balances, while often coping with system or staffing limitations.

On the other hand, the reporting schedule ensures that CFOs stay up-to-date on the company's current financial condition and facilitates informed communications with the CEO, the management team, the board of directors, and investors. It also provides the basis for in-depth reviews of financial trends and affords the opportunity to make mid-course corrections.

Accurate and Timely

The CFO's paramount objective in establishing financial reporting processes is to produce accurate financial statements in a timely manner. In many companies, accomplishing this objective requires heroic acts by controllers and financial managers as they endure rituals of long hours and often frenetic ...

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