Only 30% of F&A professionals and business leaders in Singapore are confident that the financial data used for financial analysis and forecasting is accurate, said BlackLine which recently released results of a survey.
This is despite 30% indicating they are now under more pressure to provide an accurate picture of company performance due to COVID-19, the software company pointed out.
The survey of 1,300 business leaders and F&A professionals was conducted online between Nov 25 and Dec 2, 2020 by independent researcher Censuswide in seven markets — US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Singapore, Australia — of which 152 are from Singapore, according to the company.
- When asked about the impact the pandemic has had on their organisation, close to 32% of respondents said their organisation has become more focused on financial scenario planning and stress testing because of COVID-19’s ongoing impact.
- A similar number (36%) said that F&A is increasingly being called upon by their boards of directors to help with scenario planning, highlighting the growing importance of financial insights as companies try to move from crisis mode into recovery.
- However, a mixture of remote and office-based working over the next 12 months could introduce more challenges for F&A professionals.
- Around 33% of respondents are worried their company will be more vulnerable to fraud if remote working continues. 28% are concerned that F&A departments are not able to provide data quickly enough for their company to respond to unpredictable market changes.
- Around a quarter have indicated that hybrid working models will make it more difficult for F&A teams to collaborate (27%) and which could lead to inaccuracies in financial data (24%).
- More than a third (38%) of C-suite executives admitted having no visibility into financial scenario planning or stress testing at their organisation, suggesting that key business leaders could be making decisions based on an incomplete picture of their organisation’s financial health.
- This lack of visibility continues to undermine trust in the data used for key financial processes and planning, with only 28% agreeing they were completely confident in the accuracy of their company’s financial data and 50% of C-level executives saying the same.
- When asked why, the main reason was due to difficulties around knowing whether the right processes were followed as a result of remote working (33%).
- Other top reasons included being unsure if all data is being accounted for due to having too many sources (31%) and the continued reliance on clunky spreadsheets and outdated processes that leave F&A teams in the dark until month-end (29%).
These suggest that digital transformation initiatives in F&A still have a long way to go, BlackLine said.