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Obvious signs of trouble

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Obvious signs of trouble

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A LEADING ACCOUNTANT SAYS there is a general perception that chief financial officers (CFO) knew the financial collapse around the world would happen and therefore they were partially to blame for it.
Carol Nicholls, managing partner of financial services company KPMG, told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY: “There is the feeling that perhaps the CFOs were to be blamed or should have blown the whistle earlier.
That perception has been around from the beginning of the financial crisis”.
She said that prior to the recession, there were a number of obvious indicators that something was about to go “wrong”.
“People speak about getting back to basics but the writing had to have been on the wall back then – the cash flows would have been a good indicator that something was going wrong.
“Some people might argue that some of the products that were being developed in some areas of their businesses – and more or less thrust upon the chief executive officer to be accounted for or to invest in – might have been questionable but the feeling was that everyone was engaging in these practices,” she posited.
Deloitte & Touche partner Betty Brathwaite shared a similar view, noting that CEOs had “a major part to play in where we are now”.
“I believe that if they had really and truly done the things that they needed to do and really stood up to the organizations’ [heads], we need not necessarily be in this situation now. I totally agree with that comment,” she said.
Brathwaite and Nicholls were speaking to BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY following an ACCA forum at the Hilton Barbados on Wednesday. The programme was held under the theme The New CFO: Leading Change In Uncertain Times. (MM)

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