U.S. CFOs confident in finance teams’ compliance skills

BY KEN TYSIAC

Accounting and finance teams possess the skills to handle current regulatory compliance tasks, according to a new survey.

Nearly half (45%) of 2,100 U.S. CFOs said their accounting and finance teams possess “excellent” regulatory and compliance expertise, according to a survey developed for finance, accounting, and business systems talent provider Robert Half.

An additional 48% of CFOs rated their teams’ regulatory and compliance expertise as “good.”

“It’s not surprising today’s finance teams feel they are current on new regulations, but businesses shouldn’t fall into a false sense of security, thinking catching up to existing mandates is enough,” Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald said in a news release. “Corporate leaders need to implement proactive strategies to ensure their employees stay up to date on emerging regulatory demands.”

The second-quarter results of the AICPA Business and Industry Economic Outlook Survey found that more than half of CPA business executives (54%) reported at least a moderate increase in their finance staff’s workload over the past five years in response to requirements from the federal health care reform laws. A moderate, significant, or very significant finance workload increase also was reported by at least one-third of respondents as a result of compliance requirements originating from the IRS or U.S. Treasury (39%); state and local government regulators (38%); and state and local tax authorities (35%).

Just one-quarter of respondents reported adding staff to handle the extra work. Instead, six in 10 respondents said they required more output or hours worked from current employees, and one-third said they outsourced work to outside contractors or vendors.

Accounting and finance teams can make sure their skills are up to date through training opportunities, seminars, continuing professional education courses, and on-site sessions with specialized consultants, McDonald said.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

SPONSORED REPORT

Post-busy season checklist

Now that tax season is over, pause for some introspection to guarantee that next year’s busy season is even better. Bonus: “Dirty dozen” scams list to share with your clients. Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg BNA, Bloomberg BNA // Software and Wolters Kluwer.

QUIZ

News quiz: Risks are top of mind in finance

Americans are worried about risks to their financial security. Accountants also see risks to their organizations and their careers. See how much you know about recent news and reports with this quiz.

CHECKLIST

Auditing risks in culture

Cultural flaws can seriously damage an organization. Here’s how internal auditors can reduce risks by embedding culture audits into existing audit programs.