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Sumith Arangala, Chief Executive Officer, LVL Energy Fund (left) handing over the agreement to Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank

Chief Financial Officers or CFOs are in the dog house after the spectacular collapse of large US and European corporations in recent years. CFO�s have been hauled before courts to face criminal charges for falsifying financial statement.

Jeremy Hope, a financial expert who addressed CIMA members in Colombo said CFO�s are seen as the last line of defense.

Shamindra Kulamannage: What are the challenges in using forecasting for information?

Jeremy Hope: I think I have learnt over the years accountants grow up with the particular view that the more data you have in a forecast the more accurate the forecast would be.

I have realized it is not just true.

The more details you have lead to more inaccuracies. It leads to more distortion. That�s partly why more companies are now moving towards what�s known as the driver based forecasting.

What they are learning is that a small number of drivers-five, six or eight – typically sales, orders and capital expenditures- If you focus most of the time getting those �right� the better the outcome will be.

Looking at a few key drivers, it also