Many CFOs could intentionally misstate financial statements, aren't aware of XBRL

In a national survey of chief financial officers and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, 62 percent believe it would be possible to intentionally misstate their financial statement to their auditor. In addition, 47 percent of CFOs are not aware of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), the new standard for tagged business information.

Survey results

Do you believe it would be possible to intentionally misstate your financial statement to your auditor?

Yes 62.44 %
No 37.10 %

Do you think it is possible for auditors to detect any and all corporate fraud (e.g., even if they are being intentionally misled by management with respect to a company's financial health)?

Yes 16.74 %
No 83.26 %

Is it the auditor's responsibility to detect any and all fraud?

Yes 17.19 %
No 82.35 %

Are you aware of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), the new standard for tagged business information?

Yes 53.39 %
No 46.61 %

If the SEC makes filing in the XBRL format mandatory, what is the first year's results for which you expect such filings to become mandatory?

2007 0.45 %
2008 11.31 %
2009 31.67 %
2010+ 49.77 %

Grant Thornton's survey ended on September 26th and incorporated responses from 221 CFOs and senior controllers, 55 in publicly held companies, 158 in privately held companies, and 8 other. More than 70 percent of respondants are in companies with less than $100 million in annual revenue. Survey participants came from 38 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-two percent indicated their companies are engaged in manufacturing, 15 percent in technology, 10 percent in financial services, 6 percent in banking and financial institutions, 6 percent in not-for-profit, 5 percent in health care, 5 percent in retail, and 31 percent in other businesses.

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