CEOs Organize Forum to Share Best Practices

The rules and regulations are coming from all quarters, but U.S. executives are taking it a step further by creating their own group to monitor corporate performance and accountability.

In the post-Enron corporate world, it has never been a more challenging time to lead a major U.S. corporation. The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act put more responsibility on the shoulders of CEOs to ensure accurate financial reporting and accounting. In a sign that executives are taking the new environment seriously, 175 of them have formed The Business Performance Management Forum.

The Forum was founded with the goals of establishing best practices that will lead to better performance and to help each other comply with strict new accounting standards.

"As the world moves at a faster pace, it's more important than ever for a CEO to know what has to be done to achieve performance," Gil Amelio, former CEO of Apple Computer and a member of the BPM Forum's advisory board, told the Mercury News. "Even if Enron hadn't happened, it would have become clear that accountability was a big issue."

A survey of the group’s members found that 60 percent are unsatisfied with their own company’s financial forecasting accuracy. The Forum will help members address these concerns and will allow them to tap the collective expertise of some of corporate America’s top names.

The survey further found that 85 percent of Forum members are very concerned with how they will institute Sarbanes-Oxley mandates within their companies. Just 21 percent reported available funds for compliance with another 41 percent indicating they expect immediate compliance with the act’s provisions.

"Sarbanes-Oxley has raised the level of concern, but it's also raised the level of anxiety by me as a board member to do a better job," Jeff Rodek, chairman and chief executive of Hyperion, told the Mercury News.

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