September 24, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: The Path to CFO Doesn’t Run Through CAO | 08.26.15

Accounting Chiefs Rarely Promoted to CFO Role [CFOJ]
Yesterday, we discussed how Chief Accounting Officers are a thing now and I thought out loud that in addition to being the guardians of GAAP, CAOs are also the vanguard when the financial reporting goes bad. And now, this:

Few chief accounting officers and controllers get the CFO gig, at least according to trends measured by Korn/Ferry International.

Only 20% of current finance chiefs who were promoted internally had such a background, it says. That compares to 36% in 2010.

One issue at play could be that the highly-technical demands typically required of people who have the chief accounting officer title, or who occupy the controller role, may make it harder for them to gain the leadership and operational skills that CFOs ideally need, said Charles Eldridge, senior client partner for Korn/Ferry.

This could be true, but In fact, the article says that 11 companies promoted controllers/CAOs in the last month.

I'm stating the obvious here, but the skills of controllers/CAOs differ quite a bit from CFOs. Depending on the person, he or she may enjoy the byzantine nature of accounting rules and loathe to have the responsibilities of a CFO which could range from financing an acquisition to preparing for an IPO to bossing around a Chief Accounting Officer.

I think a person would do fine with either path, but it requires someone to make choices about what they want to do early on. Opportunities for finance exposure won't come along if you turn them down early in your career. Korn/Ferry seems to confirm this.

Snapchat Names Former Mattel Executive Drew Vollero Its Finance Chief [WSJ]
Of course, our biggest question is when Mr. Vollero will get Snapchat off QuickBooks?

How To Change Careers When You Don't Know What You Want To Do Next [FC]
Psychotherapist Timothy Butler says the voice inside your head is a problem: " 'At times of impasse, the internal critic is particularly active,' he says. But resist the urge to look around and compare yourself to others in your field or age group. 'That's very dangerous,' says Butler. 'One big message is to be easier on ourselves.' "

Keep Conference Calls Short by Scheduling Them Right Before Other Events [Lifehacker]
Good advice, unless you like spending 2 hours on the phone with 3-5 other people.

The Shawshank Redemption [r/accounting]
Like most things on r/accounting, a discussion of whether Andy Dufresne's tax advice to Captain Hadley is real or not goes on far longer than it should.

Sepp Blatter: There is no corruption in soccer [Fox Sports]
Just ask KPMG! They'll tell you!

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