Helping clients meet their business challenges begins with an in-depth understanding of the industries in which they work. That’s why KPMG LLP established its industry-driven structure. In fact, KPMG LLP was the first of the Big Four firms to organize itself along the same industry lines as clients.

How We Work

We bring together passionate problem-solvers, innovative technologies, and full-service capabilities to create opportunity with every insight.

Learn more

Careers & Culture

What is culture? Culture is how we do things around here. It is the combination of a predominant mindset, actions (both big and small) that we all commit to every day, and the underlying processes, programs and systems supporting how work gets done.

Learn more

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics

KPMG’s Corporate Controller and CAO Insights provides access to top-of-mind issues and trends, research, and events to help you identify opportunities and insights in financial reporting.

From ESG to Cyber: 10 major challenges financial executives face right now

Corporate Controllers and Chief Accounting Officers are challenged with identifying external and internal opportunities, driving growth strategy, and quickly adapting to changing regulation. 

These key stakeholders have identified ten critical areas, listed below, that contain specific opportunities and hurdles. Check back frequently, as we dig deeper into each of the ten topics.

Newest Hot Topic: Audit Committee Focus Areas


This topic represents one of the most critical challenges facing the market, thanks in part to new proposed rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission surrounding ESG disclosure requirements. Ensuring the right teams (e.g., audit, finance, sustainability and legal) are in the right place to properly track, report and disclose compliance information and data, while also absorbing new government regulations, will be key to long term success in this important area. However, due to this ever-evolving landscape, there are still a number of open questions around how to best structure a matrixed organization for facilitating progress.

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics: ESG Spotlight

Controllers and Chief Accounting Officers have been largely receptive to and generally support setting climate standards. But while broad backing exists for the standardization of climate considerations, the SEC’s proposal, as it stands, raises a number of questions.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting

Learn about developing and managing a strategy for reporting on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).


Controllers and CAOs are of course focused on understanding, addressing, and optimizing the rules and regulations surrounding accounting areas like revenue recognition, lease accounting, hedging, goodwill amortization, duration insurance contracts, and statutory audits to name just a few. When it comes to incorporating changes in these areas, getting the proper controls, and staffing levels in place is just the beginning of what can be an incredibly complex process affecting multiple areas of a company’s organization.

Accounting for Economic Uncertainty

In the current economic climate, organizations have had to adapt their disclosures and SEC filings to accommodate evolving risk areas. The volatile environment has left organizations unsure about the extent to which they will be impacted, while an increase in SEC comment letters has underscored the need for many organizations to gain deeper insight into risks and justify key decisions.

Financial Reporting View

Financial Reporting View: Delivering guidance, publications and insights to financial reporting professionals. Sharing our expertise and perspective to inform your decision-making.


Many Controllers and CAOs face persistent challenges when it comes to attracting, onboarding, developing, and retaining top talent — all points that have become especially salient in the era of hybrid work. This group, for example, views retention as a major priority that’s even more challenging in a hot market increasingly defined by remote working options. Overall, these leaders are staying relatively flexible and focused on optimizing in areas like compensation, diversity & Inclusion, training and internal development to boost employee satisfaction and prevent burnout. 

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics: Talent Spotlight

Amid ongoing talk of a potential recession, many Controllers and Chief Accounting Officers are preparing for a potential economic slowdown by focusing in part on one major category: talent. 

KPMG Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report

KPMG U.S. provides a progress update on its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts in the 2021 U.S. DEI Transparency Report.

Organizational transformation

When it comes to driving company-wide change, many of these stakeholders are looking at digital innovation, automation and agile approaches, in addition to leveraging operating models that drive cost out of business. But generating a “culture of collaboration” to help push these efforts is difficult to envision when significant portions of the workforce aren’t together in the office. Still, some larger companies are creating micro-cultures or processes where projects can attract funding, assemble teams and move quickly in order to enhance organizational agility. 

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics: Operating Model Spotlight

Finance operating models continue to adapt to changes in technology, talent, and the overall business environment.

Redefining the rules of organizational transformation

Focusing on people is the key to sustaining value. 


Reducing the number of manual inputs and streamlining the reconciliation process are top priorities, and many in this group are already working with different automated solutions involving robotics, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing; in the near future, Controllers and CAOs expect things like process mining technology and business process automation to be must-haves. One thing to note: adoption and ROI can be pain points during implementation.

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics: AI Spotlight

With new technologies such as AI poised to transform the business landscape, a strong data and analytics foundation is a necessary part of the modern finance organization.

KPMG Clara

In today’s digital world, our lives are enriched by increasingly connected and shared experiences. Our audit is too with KPMG Clara.

Emerging Technologies 

Advanced technology is changing the face of audit. 

Digital transformation

A number of Controllers and CAOs feel their companies have some catching up to do. Some organizations simply don’t have the capacity to properly handle all of the data at their disposal, while others struggle with how to securely migrate to the cloud. For many, moving forward involves tech-oriented approaches — i.e., utilizing data mining and automating various reporting functions. Financial ERP implementation, for example, will hinge to a certain degree on modernizing IT systems to drive integrations and efficiencies.

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics: Digital Transformation Spotlight

Transformation at many organizations is technology-focused, but controllers and CAOs are finding that much more needs to change.

Digital Transformation

Transform to create a customer-centric, digitally enabled business.

Cyber security

Amongst the group, cyber security is a major priority that extends into other areas on this list and warrants a significant amount of vigilance. Regarding the manifold challenges on this front, there is specific concern over how the level of disclosure and requirements would be impacted by the risk of increasingly sophisticated breaches.

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics: Cybersecurity Reporting Spotlight

Emerging regulations mean that bolstering a company’s cybersecurity capabilities is no longer an option, but a requirement.

Mitigating risk in an increasingly digitized world

KPMG’s Heather Paquette and Doron Rotman share how audit committees/boards can help organizations understand the impact of cybersecurity risks on financial reporting & internal controls.

Your guide to cyber security

Building a secure plan. 


Controllers and CAOs are of course navigating their way through rising costs — with the Russia-Ukraine conflict adding a layer of complication to their efforts. Making sure teams have good data intelligence for optimal forecasting and planning is crucial to weathering current macro-level economic conditions.

KPMG Economics

A source for unbiased economic intelligence to help improve strategic decision-making. 


When it comes to this issue, Controllers and CAOs are interested in how M&A structures are being shaped across industries. Are they being integrated fully or separately? And what are the pros and cons associated with these approaches? Best practices around chart of accounts are also a focus — especially with acquisitions. Flexibility seems to come at expense of consistency. 

Mergers & Acquisitions Tax

Unlock value and mitigate risk through tax efficiencies. 

Corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions

Can your strategy win in today’s business environment? 

Board of Directors

The board is a key stakeholder for Controllers and CAOs, but it generally has a wide-ranging agenda, encompassing everything from human capital management and ESG strategy to proactive shareholder engagement. Indeed, Controllers and CAOs need a good understanding of this agenda — but they also need to be able to navigate when and how to engage the board on issues concerning their scope.

Corporate Controller & CAO Hot Topics: Audit Committee Focus Areas

Audit committees faced packed agendas and challenges as their responsibilities expand, with controllers and CAOs needing to educate their boards on priority topics and emerging concerns.

Board Leadership Center

The KPMG Board Leadership Center (BLC) champions outstanding corporate governance to drive long-term value and enhance stakeholder confidence.

Dive into our thinking:

From ESG to Cyber: 10 major challenges financial executives face right now

Download PDF

Meet our team

Image of Dana Foote
Dana Foote
Audit Head of Markets, KPMG US

Explore more

Thank you!

Thank you for contacting KPMG. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

Contact KPMG

Use this form to submit general inquiries to KPMG. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

By submitting, you agree that KPMG LLP may process any personal information you provide pursuant to KPMG LLP's Privacy Statement.

An error occurred. Please contact customer support.

Job seekers

Visit our careers section or search our jobs database.

Submit RFP

Use the RFP submission form to detail the services KPMG can help assist you with.

Office locations

International hotline

You can confidentially report concerns to the KPMG International hotline

Press contacts

Do you need to speak with our Press Office? Here's how to get in touch.