CFOs Exploring Alternatives to Layoffs, Amid Concern About Economy | AccountingWEB

CFOs Exploring Alternatives to Layoffs, Amid Concern About Economy

In a survey of CFOs conducted during the week of March 3-9 by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business, confidence in the U.S. economy remained low, and many are taking action to protect their own businesses and workforce, but aiming to avoid layoffs if possible through alternative means such as salary freezes, elimination of bonuses, redistribution of responsibilities, shortened workweeks, and more. Read details in this FEI press release. Complete details are in this report published by FEI's research affiliate, the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF),

In other news, FERF published today a study entitled Trends in Income Tax Reporting Automation. The study, conducted by FERF Research Associate Thomas Thompson, Jr. consisted of interviews of senior financial executives about their own tax automation experiences.

"We heard that there are challenges to automating income tax reporting,” said Thompson. “Nevertheless, automation is emerging as the standard for companies that are committed to improving transparency and internal control.” On the other side of the coin, many executives commented that the primary obstacles to tax automation are time and budget, along with traditional “change management” issues.

Some of the benefits of tax automation noted in the study include:

  • Reduced tax cycle time;
  • Less effort and more accuracy associated with tax data collection and transaction entries;
  • Increased process visibility and control;
  • Greater regulatory compliance and process standardization;
  • Increased financial transparency and comprehensive audit trails;
  • Fewer deficiencies identified by reviews under Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404; and
  • Freeing up of resources for more higher-value tasks, such as tax planning, modeling and analysis.

Daniel S. Jones, Managing Director of DS Jones & Company, a management consulting firm based in Connecticut, pointed out that a client with offices in 40 countries had a decentralized process where local tax executives and controllers handled their own reporting. “They were previously using Excel spreadsheet, but errors were fairly routine, and previous attempts to standardize were not successful.” After hiring a new Tax Director, the company decided to automate. This helped them standardize and ensure regulatory compliance, produced more accurate financial reporting and reduced process cycle time, allowing more time to do analysis.

U.S. FEI members may download the full study for free at the FERF Bookstore. Non-members can purchase FERF reports. Free FERF reports are one of the many benefits of FEI membership, along with our monthly magazine, Financial Executive, our bi-weekly electronic newsletter, FEI Express, our detailed web summaries of current developments, discounts for attending our conferences, and more! Thinking about joining FEI? New members who join by April 6 can attend our Summit conference in May for free! Feel free to contact me if you have questions about FEI membership at .

This blog

FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.


Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.


Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.


Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".


William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.


Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (, a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.


Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.


Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website:
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.


The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.


FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.


Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.


Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.


AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.