Regulatory Concerns for CFOs in 2013

Image via Flickr by Nancy Pelosi

Ever-changing regulatory requirements continues to be one of the top three stressors for CFOs across the nation. Whether they work for major corporations or small businesses, regulatory policy, fiscal concerns, health care, and tax policies continue to be the leading concerns for CFOs.

Pending reforms leave details in a flux, heightening CFO anxiety. In the regulatory arena, 62% of CFOs cite healthcare reform as their top concern. With so many unknown variables attached to the broad nature of the Affordable Care Act, CFOs are still worried about the impact reform will have on their business as regulations continue to unfold and be implemented.

Still other concerns are related to more fiscal matters, including the potential conversion to the International Financial Reporting Standards. The impact would be most significant for CFOs and their finance teams, yet the adaptation of IFRS continues to grow.

Now that we’re halfway through the year, regulatory issues that CFOs should continue watching throughout 2013 include:

  1. The Dodd-Frank Act. Even though this act was passed several years ago, like the Affordable Care Act, the impact on businesses takes a while as regulatory agencies must write and implement the rules. Many of these rules concerning corporate governance and executive compensation are just now being implemented in the business world. CFOs must continue to consider the compensation for senior executives and how that information will be shared with the public and investors. Heightened scrutiny and increased transparency are regulatory issues that CFOs should prepare for.
  2. Accounting Rules. CFOs and finance departments should take note that the FASB and IASB are diligently working to converge significant accounting standards. Revenue recognition and lease accounting are two major rules that are expected to be scheduled and implemented throughout the rest of the year. Higher standards could potentially accompany accelerated loan loss provisioning and other financial instruments as well.

As regulatory issues and laws continue to take shape in 2013, CFOs must remember that they guide the tone in which businesses react and interact with regulators. The finance department lead by the chief financial officer should work with the legal and actual operating business team to implement regulatory changes.