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The Chief Financial Officer in 2010. (World View).

What will the CFO's role be like in 2010? Ten leading chief financial officers were asked that question in a study commissioned by the Financial and Management Accounting Committee (FMAC) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). All emphasized growth in the interpretation and delivery of complex information and the increased role of the CFO as a strategist.

John Schmoll, CFO of Coles Myer, Australia's largest retail group, emphasized a change in investor relations. He said it wasn't the CFO's job to manage the share price--"That's for the market." He adds, "You cannot be biased in only allowing the market the good news and not the bad news. Bad news has to be passed on. It may be difficult, but it has to be done."

A major responsibility of the CFO is to sound the alarm when things start going south, according to Angela Holtham, former senior vice president and CFO of Nabisco in Canada. "CFOs need to catch the variances early and spot when things are going in the wrong direction. They need to be able to explain and/or correct things before they get out of control." In the wake of Enron's collapse, her remarks about risk management are particularly relevant. "As companies get bigger and more global, the CFO is going to have to remember what business the company is in. Hedging, both in commodities and financial markets, for example, must be seen as a form of risk management, not something to be used speculatively to make money, unless of course market speculation is your business. For most companies, hedging is a means to eliminate risk, not to create risk."

Microsoft CFO John Connors thinks that increasingly CFOs will come out of line organizations rather than the finance route. He notes that although he started in finance, he also had experience in product lines and the sales department. "People have to understand the business and have a strong financial background. But CFOs who did not serve in the finance function will become more common."

The Role of the Chief Financial Officer in 2010 can be downloaded from the IFAC website at

IASC Names Standing Interpretations Committee

As the International Accounting Standards Committee continued to gear up for its task of harmonizing financial reporting standards, the IASC Foundation appointed 12 members to a reconstituted Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC). Its task is to interpret the application of International Financial Reporting Standards to ensure consistent accounting practices worldwide.

Drawn from five continents and eight countries, the Committee includes accounting officers, accounting firm partners, analysts, and an academic. Paul A. Volcker, who is chairman of the IASC Foundation trustees, said, "Uniform implementation and enforcement of accounting standards is an essential element of our organization's goal of achieving globally accepted and enforceable accounting standards. Having the commitment of these 12 individuals, who are expected to meet six times each year, will help ensure that practice will develop consistently worldwide."

The members of the new committee and their professional affiliations and nationalities are: Junichi Akiyama, professor, Tama University, Japan; Phil Ameen, vice president and comptroller, General Electric Co., U.S.; Christian Chiarasini, partner, Andersen, France; Claudio de Canto, general manager, administration and control, Pirelli, S.p.A., Italy; Clement K.M. Kwok, finance director, MTR Corporation Ltd., Hong Kong, China; Wayne Lonergan, managing director, Lonergan Edwards & Associates, Australia; Domingo Mario Marchese, partner, Marchese, Grandi, Meson & Associates, Argentina; John T. Smith, partner, Deloitte & Touche, U.S.; Mary Tokar, partner, IAS Advisory Services, KPMG International, U.S.; Leo van der Tas, partner, Ernst & Young, The Netherlands; Patricia Walters, senior vice president, Association for Investment Management and Research, U.S.; and Ian Wright, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Kingdom.

Named the nonvoting chairman was Kevin Stevenson, director of technical activities-designate, International Accounting Standards Board.

Foundation trustees are proposing to expand the mandate of the SIC to include timely guidance on reporting issues not specifically addressed in International Financial Reporting Standards, to change the Committee's name to the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee, and to create the position of a nonvoting chair.


The International Federation of Accountants is inviting comments on a proposed guideline on outsourcing information technology. The proposed guideline can be obtained through the Exposure Draft section of IFAC's website (

IFAG has published five other guidelines that may be downloaded at no charge through the IFAC online bookstore at The five final guidelines are:

* Managing Security of Information,

* Managing IT Planning for Business Impact,

* Acquisition of Information Technology,

* Implementation of Information Technology Solutions, and

* IT Service Delivery and Support.

IFAC, with 156 professional accountancy bodies in 114 countries, is the worldwide organization for the accounting profession.
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Article Details
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Author:Randall, Robert F.
Publication:Strategic Finance
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
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