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In May 2012, the Singapore CFO Institute, in collaboration with the School of Accountancy at Singapore Management University (SMU), embarked on this study with the objective of achieving a better understanding of the CFO function in today’s modern corporation. The study aims to answer a fundamental question – what do CFOs actually do? We examined several facets to this question: the key roles and responsibilities of CFOs; how those responsibilities are structured; whether those roles have changed in importance over time; what roles occupy the most of the CFOs’ attention and time; and what factors are challenging or enhancing the effectiveness of the CFO function. We administered an online questionnaire survey during August and September 2012 to the Group CFOs of more than 700 companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and received 117 usable responses. We also separately conducted interviews with three CFOs to garner their views on some of the survey results. To contextualise our analysis, we partitioned the responses into three groups by their companies’ market capitalisation – large-cap (>$1 billion), mid-cap ($300-$1,000 million), and small-cap (<$300 million) firms.


Accounting | Corporate Finance

Research Areas

Corporate Reporting and Disclosure


Singapore CFO Institute and Singapore Management University