Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada)

Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada)


April 04, 2012 07:30 ET

CFOs and Audit Committees Will Soon Feel the Heat: FEI Canada Study

Risk, market turmoil and standards setters expected to add pressure

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 4, 2012) - Canadian financial executives believe greater concern around risk management will increase demands on audit committees in the next 24 months, resulting in heightened pressures on company CFOs. Participants in a new research study by the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation (CFERF), point to the turmoil in the capital and debt markets to explain this renewed emphasis on risk management. The CFO and the audit committee study is sponsored by KPMG LLP.

The CFO and the audit committee study highlights include:

  • Organizations expected to be at the forefront of increased demands on audit committees include accounting standards setters and securities regulators
  • 90 percent of respondents reported the CFO of their organization had an excellent relationship with the company's audit committee, a relationship that is based on trust and transparency
  • 69 percent of respondents were happy with the approach of their audit committees, reporting the committees are neither over-involved nor under-involved
  • 83 percent disagreed with the suggestion that the CFO has an 'us versus them' relationship with their audit committee

"The study shows that CFOs need to help board directors, and audit committee members in particular, better understand the business challenges that their organizations are facing, while demonstrating the fortitude to withstand the oversight of their performance by the audit committee," said Michael Conway, Chief Executive and National President of FEI Canada.

Despite this increased scrutiny from the audit committee, overall, financial executives are confident when fielding tough questions and engaging in difficult conversations at audit committee meetings. A majority also agreed that their audit committee members request information in a reasonable time frame.

"The nature of the CFO-audit committee relationship is clearly of strong interest to financial executives," said Todd Buchanan, National Leader, Accounting Advisory Services, KPMG LLP. "The study shows that successful audit committee relationships feature trust, respect, professionalism, collaboration, openness and transparency."

About the Survey

An online survey of 199 financial executives, some of whom have also served on audit committees, formed the basis for the study by CFERF, the research arm of Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada). The CFO and the audit committee, which includes insights gathered during a roundtable discussion of senior financial executives, explores the current state of the relationship between the two and how CFOs communicate in order to assist the audit committee in fulfilling their agenda effectively.

About Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada)

FEI Canada is the all-industry professional membership association for senior financial executives. With 11 chapters across Canada and more than 1,800 members, FEI Canada provides professional development, thought leadership and advocacy services to its members. The association membership, which consists of Chief Financial Officers, Audit Committee Directors and senior executives in the Finance, Controller, Treasury and Taxation functions, represents a significant number of Canada's leading and most influential corporations. Further information can be found at

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, an Audit, Tax and Advisory firm ( and a Canadian limited liability partnership established under the laws of Ontario, is the Canadian member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG member firms around the world have 145,000 professionals, in 152 countries.

The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity, and describes itself as such.

Contact Information

  • For FEI Canada and CFERF information, please contact:
    Christian Bellavance
    Vice President of Research and Communications
    416-366-3007 Ext. 5114

    For KPMG, please contact:
    Michael Bodsworth
    Manager, Media Relations, KPMG in Canada
    (416) 777-3407