The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 effectively created a new high-level position, the Financial Reporting Manager, who is charged with preparing financial reports and overseeing the internal controls ensuring the integrity of data being reported.
The objective of Sarbanes-Oxley, the most comprehensive revision to federal securities regulations since the 1930s, was to protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of financial reports such as 10-K annual reports, 10-K quarterly reports, proxy statements, and other financial reports issued by public companies. Sarbanes-Oxley is named after its main architects, Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley. The law has 11 sections, but section 404 is probably the most significant with respect to compliance. Sarbanes-Oxley section 404 says public companies have to evaluate the effectiveness of internal controls to ensure that financial reports present an accurate picture of the company’s financial health and do not present any misleading or intentionally false information. Furthermore, the external auditor must certify the effectiveness of these controls once a year, usually when the auditor reviews the company’s financial statements.
The Financial Reporting Manager is responsible for financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, senior management, the audit committee, and the company’s board of directors. The Finance Reporting Manager oversees compliance with financial disclosure regulations issued by the SEC, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board the regulatory board created to oversee Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
Education, Experience, & Certifications
Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance
Some firms prefer candidates with Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license is usually a requirement
Solid knowledge of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and reporting
Solid knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
Solid knowledge of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) regulations is usually a requirement
3- 10+ years in internal auditing or financial reporting in public companies
Strong organizational and team leadership skills
Strong analytical skills
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Prior experience delivering board-level and senior management-level presentations is often a requirement.
Typical Duties May Include:
The Finance Reporting Manager coordinates the activities of internal audit staff and external auditors and issues progress reports to senior management.
The manager also works closely with the corporate controller’s group by preparing technical accounting research, performing special projects, and analyzing financial reports for compliance with applicable federal or state regulations.
Specific Duties May Include the Following:
Documenting and testing financial reporting controls
Coordinating quarterly reviews of financial reporting activities
Assisting in coordinating, with the chief financial officer and internal audit, the review of controls by all departments
Overseeing month-closing financial reports to the SEC
Coordinating preparation of monthly financial reports, including consolidated financial statements and cash flow statements
Assisting in preparation of quarterly and annual board of directors reports
Performing research on technical accounting issues
Maintaining records of accounting policies and procedures
Serving as a accounting liaison to corporate tax, treasury, and other internal departments
Assisting in communication with external auditors along with internal audit staff and the chief financial officer
Providing education and training to senior management on important accounting issues