CFO Pay is Up, Says CEO Equilar

While high-flying CEOs continue to get big bumps in pay, down closer to earth, CFOs are getting larger pay hikes on average than the typical CEO.

That's the conclusion of a recent report by CEO Equilar, which tracks compensation issues. Writing on Equilar CEO Blog, David Chun reports that a recent survey of Standard & Poor's 500 companies showed that the rate of growth of compensation for CFOs was 5.2 percent or three times the 1.3 per cent average growth rate for CEOs.

Equilar was able to do this research because changes in U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission rules now require disclosure of CFO compensation.

Why the increase? Apparently, CFOs have had a lot more to do, especially after the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act generated huge demands for accounting double and triple checks. Most of the large companies are now in compliance with SOX and just this past week the SEC delayed full compliance for non-accelerated filing small public firms by one year to December 2009.

Some may say that by forcing CFO pay disclosure, the pay rates will only ratchet up even more. One more reason to remember warmly Enron and WorldCom.