Carol Crane Chris Allen Jim Gray
TowersGroup FEI Duke-Fuqua
212.354.5020 973.898.4658 919.660.2935
Top Recommendation: Count Company Web Postings as Public Disclosure
DURHAM, N.C. and MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 29, 2001 —Top priority for the new SEC Chair should be to recognize company Website postings as satisfying public disclosure requirements, say Chief Financial Officers. In the most recent quarterly “CFO Corporate Outlook Survey” conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, 58% of CFOs call the issue “top priority or very important,” outranking any other issue.
“The Internet is pervasive,” noted Philip Livingston, President and CEO of FEI. “Many in the financial community have argued that the Web, and by extension a company’s Website, is a public forum that should be recognized by the SEC as an acceptable means of public disclosure. The majority of CFOs in our survey agree,” he concluded.
Also high on CFOs’ wish list of goals for the new SEC:
· Establishing SEC policies that move the markets away from their focus on short-term quarterly earnings (55% called this issue “top priority or very important”)
· SEC acceptance of global accounting standards (44%)
About one-third of the CFOs surveyed ranked the remaining two issues as top priority or very important: updating the 1933 and 1934 Securities Exchange Act; and modifying recently adopted rules of “auditor independence.”
Participating in the survey were 153 CFOs at companies with median revenues of $100 million to $500 million. Revenues at 15% of the participating companies were over $1 billion.
The CFO Corporate Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly by Financial Executives International and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Each survey polls a cross-section of CFOs from more than 5,000 U.S. companies on macro and company-specific economic and business issues. This survey was completed on March 19, 2001. In addition to the data provided here, the most recent survey polled CFOs about the expense and revenue forecasts for their companies and their outlook for the US economy and stock market. Complete results of this survey and those of prior quarters are available at www.duke.edu/%7ejgraham.
Financial Executives International (FEI) is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management. Its 15,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers, and controllers. FEI enhances member professional development through peer networking, career planning services, conferences, publications, and special reports and research. Members participate in the activities of 86 chapters, 75 of which are in the United States and 11 in Canada. For more information about FEI, visit www.fei.org.
The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University was founded in 1970. Fuqua’s mission is to educate thoughtful business leaders worldwide and to promote the advancement of business management through research. For more information, visit www.fuqua.duke.edu.