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Woe Is the CFO

These days, CFO may have more responsibility than the acronym was meant to handle. Does yours have what it takes to handle the scrutiny and the pressure?

This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you thought small-business CFOs weren't reeling from the Enron implosion like the financial chiefs of their billion-dollar brethren, you thought wrong. "I definitely feel the heat," says Arthur Tanner, CFO of Circle Group Internet Inc., a 34-employee Mundelein, Illinois, company that provides capital-raising and consulting services to emerging-growth companies.

Tanner, who recently prepared his company for listing on the OTC Bulletin Board, says the scrutiny from shareholders, regulators and auditors has been intense. Where they once gave certain numbers a cursory glance, "now they're asking more and more questions," says Tanner. "Everybody was a little bit more apprehensive than in the past, double-checking, triple-checking the numbers." As auditors scramble to rebuild their reputations, they're putting more pressure on their clients. "I have to know the rules a lot better because there are going to be more rules," says Tanner.

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