What’s keeping CFOs up at night?
We asked that question to our CFOs, controllers and leading financial executives at a recent session at the MACPA's offices in Towson. Here are their top five issues:
- People shortage and talent management
- Regulations, compliance and complexity
- Uncertain economy and keeping up with change
- Cash management and financing
- Rising health care, benefit and energy costs
MACPA Chairman Tom Foard, a CPA and CFO, shared his insights on the AICPA's Business and Industry Executive Committee (BIEC), recent scans of CFO magazine and other key areas. He noted that the issues facing Maryland CFOs are right in line with the BIEC and the latest from CFO.
The conversation quickly turned to, "Now what?" What is the MACPA doing about this?
MACPA Executive Director and CEO Tom Hood shared the association's top five priorities for 2008 -- the outcome of the MACPA's Board of Directors Strategic Planning Session a few weeks earlier. The group was amazed at how the MACPA's priorities lined up with their issues.
People and pipeline issues were numbers 1 and 3. Legislation and regulations were numbers 2 and 4. Financial literacy is a necessary public interest activity for the CPA profession.
Several CFOs said they did not realize the resources the MACPA already has and felt the association is on track. They encouraged us to communicate these key issues on a regular basis. We thought we should start with this post.
First, here are two major opportunities to get training to help your career in business and industry and deal with these top issues:
- May 16: Business and Industry Conference at Turf Valley Inn and Conference Center. This popular conference will feature Ron Shapiro, Maryland sports agent / super lawyer, who will present his latest book, Dare to Prepare. Also on the agenda is Aniban Basu, Maryland's top economist; a standards update from AICPA's top instructor, Liz Gantnier; and a session on talent management from one of our own BLI instructors, Lin Kroeger. Get further information about the conference here.
- June 17-18: The first-ever Maryland Business and Accounting Expo. Our theme will be "Innovation and Growth: How to Grow in an Uncertain Economy." The event will feature almost 100 workshops, and more than 100 vendors and exhibitors. Programs will focus on the future of financial reporting, international standards and XBRL, along with leadership, technology and how to manage rising costs and deal with uncertainty. Click here to reserve your spot or see the breakthrough ideas and thought leaders that will be here. (Up to 16 hours of workshop/CPE for $250.) Included will be a session by MACPA member Ken Kelly, CFO of McCormick, who was featured in the February 2008 issue of CFO magazine.
Next was a discussion about Maryland's new corporate tax reporting requirements that were enacted during a special session of the Maryland General Assembly last fall. The requirements include severe penalties -- up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The MACPA is working right now to amend these onerous requirements and has guidance for you. Read this brief alert to find out more. You can see our whole legsialtive agenda at our blog, Legislative Insider.
Finally, we discussed resources we have specifically for our members in business and industry:
- Business & Industry E-ssentials, a monthly e-newsletter. Find out how subscribe and view archives online here. (Member login is required. Call us to get your login set up if you haven't done that yet.)
- We also have a business and industry listserv, which will help you get answers to your questions from colleagues throughout the state. (There are also state tax federal tax listservs).
- Many did not know about our podcasts, which can be found on iTunes and here.
Here are some other resources you'll want to check out:
- The full "Can We Talk?" session for CFOs
- A whitepaper on why CPAs should be in the C-suite, produced by the AICPA
- A blog entry from CFO.com about the MACPA's work in Second Life
- CFO magazine's top issues facing CFOs
What do you think? Are these the issues that are keeping you up at night? Are we missing anything? What else can we do for you? Keep the conversation going by posting comments on our blog.