Scandal Accountability Starts At The Top, Say CEOs

Compiled By Deborah Austin In corporate accounting scandals, the buck stops with chief executives, many of their peers contend. In a survey of 800 members by CEO organization TEC International, 69% hold corporate CEOs directly responsible -- instead of CFOs, the Securities Exchange Commission or accounting firms -- for such misconduct. Financial scandals don't represent behavior of most CEOs, say 82%. But 75% of the surveyed CEOs expect this year will bring more revelations of corporate misdeeds. Half of the chief executives say current accounting/securities laws are adequate -- but no matter what the regulation, ethical corporate behavior depends on leaders' integrity, assert 93%. Those who benefit from false accounting should be required to forfeit related gains and be barred for life from executive/board positions, say 84%. The Special Edition TEC Index, "CEO Views on the CEO Crisis," is first in a topical survey series by San Diego-based TEC, whose members are U.S. businesses with annual sales between $1 million and $1 billion. TEC also publishes a quarterly TEC Index of economic indicators.

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