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Chief Financial Officers

History

Financial records have been maintained since the early days of civilization. Records discovered in Babylonia (modern-day Iraq) date back to 3600 B.C.; the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans also kept detailed financial records.

The technological advances of the Industrial Revolution brought about the need for a distinct class of managers to oversee increasingly large factories. Managers were needed to collect and analyze financial information, produce financial reports, develop short- and long-term financial strategies for their organizations, and manage compliance and regulatory issues.

In the early 2000s, financial scandals prompted the public to question the accuracy and reliability of financial statements published by corporations and the financial sector. In response to this crisis, the federal government passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (often referred to as SOX) in 2002. This law requires higher levels of financial accounting and disclosure from all publicly held companies. The role of the chief financial officer has become even more important since the passage of SOX as companies seek to comply with the strict requirements of the law. 

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