Should the CFO report to the CEO or the Board of Directors?

This is a discussion I recently started on LinkedIn. The basis of this question is that when the CFO reports to the CEO, their continued employment often hinges on telling the CEO “the right thing” when it comes to ideas the CEO has.  This conflict of interest is especially serious in a public company where the CFO can literally go to jail for producing false financial statements.

The responses to my question were very interesting. They ranged from: “The CFO just needs to do their job. If they lose their job, so be it” to “I agree as I have lost my CFO job in the past for refusing to do something the CEO wanted to do”.

I also asked the question as to whether a CFO should have some type of severance contract clause that would protect them financially if they refuse to do something the CEO wanted to do, and subsequently lose their job.

What do you think?

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5 Responses to “Should the CFO report to the CEO or the Board of Directors?”

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