From the Editor

Going Deep

Our new &doublequot;Deep Dive&doublequot; surveys will explore topics important to CFOs.
Scott LeibsMarch 1, 2011

With job creation now the top priority for the Obama Administration (last month the President even paid a visit to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has reached often into its deep pockets to oppose him on just about everything, to make a plea for job creation), we could think of no better topic to kick off our new series of Deep Dive surveys.

These single-topic surveys give us a chance to explore in greater detail critical issues that surface in our long-running Duke University/CFO Magazine Business Outlook surveys. In those quarterly surveys we have been tracking, among other key indicators, CFOs’ collective plans to hire — or not hire — throughout the recession.

The data that we’ve gathered has begged for additional, more-focused polling, and this inaugural Deep Dive survey allows us to do just that. See “Hire Education.”

It has been said many times over the past couple of years that anyone who has a job is lucky, yet some employees push that luck — into felonious territory. Corporate fraud is up, as we describe in our cover story, “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fraud,” and the reasons for that run deep. True, some of it can be attributed to the recession and the financial stresses that can afflict even the gainfully employed. But, as writer Laton McCartney notes, much of the fraud that is now being uncovered can be traced back several years, having originated well before the recession began.

CFOs can, and must, fight back, and that response takes many forms. It also takes time and commitment, but if the latest statistics describing the scope of fraud are accurate, that investment will pay off handsomely.

A different sort of due-diligence responsibility has recently come to light for privately held companies: making sure that you don’t become “public” accidentally. As Facebook recently learned, crossing the 500-shareholder limit that triggers a raft of reporting requirements can become a status update you don’t want to post to your page. And companies far smaller than Facebook may find themselves in a similar predicament. We tell you how to avoid it in “Going Public by Accident.”

As for going public on purpose, we’ll have more insight on that in a forthcoming issue.