How CFO and Audit Committees Can Enhance Respective Roles

How CFO and Audit Committees Can Enhance Respective Roles In a webinar that provided significant information about the increasing responsibilities for audit committee members, KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute (ACI) and the National Association of Corporate Directors featured Carol B. Tomé in a webinar on June 23. Not only is Tomé Home Depot’s chief financial officer (CFO) but she also serves as  chairman of the audit committee in her board role at UPS. James P. Liddy, Vice Chair of Audit, KPMG moderated the webcast, which provided updates on key financial reporting/accounting developments, including FASB projects and “hot button” issues.  Asked what advice Tomé would give to CFOs she said, “Remember, it’s not a parade ground presentation—don’t spend excessive time on your slides.” It’s the engaged dialogue between the CFO and the audit committee that will really pay dividends. “Begin by thinking of the outcome you want and measure yourself against it.”  .  As for what audit committee members need to do to make the most of their interaction with the CFO, Tomé emphasized the need for interaction prior to the meeting.  Having a relationship with the CFO beyond just the board and audit committee meeting is critical. “It’s important to have that up front communication prior to the meeting,” she said.  Such conversations enable the CFO and audit committee to know what the issues are and where you should spend your time together. “Yes we have different roles but we’re all working for the shareholders.”