The current pandemic is prompting some financial reporting execs to rethink their technology needs despite their confidence in getting their jobs done with current technologies, said the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) recently when releasing results of a survey of 275 financial reporting professionals, where 11% of the respondents came from Southeast Asia.
Although new time-saving cloud-based financial reporting platforms were a relatively low priority for organisations pre-pandemic, interest in agility and the potential continuation of remote working — including the control and oversight process —are bringing about renewed consideration of these systems, the institute noted.
“Many companies use sophisticated systems for tracking voluminous, repetitive transactions, and accumulating data from various systems and spreadsheets, but bringing this data together and producing an actual report is still overly dependent on cut and paste data wrangling on spreadsheets,” said Conor O’Kelly, Senior Director of Statutory Reporting at Workiva and co-author of the survey report.
This is unnecessary when the right solutions are available to simplify the process, he added.
Despite confidence in their ability to get their jobs done with current technologies, the COVID-19 crisis is prompting some financial reporting professionals to rethink their technology needs, IMA pointed out.
“Corporate finance and accounting teams continue to compete with other departments for new technology systems,” said Shari Littan, IMA’s Director of Corporate Reporting Research and Policy and co-author of the survey report.
Companies can benefit, however, by considering technology for the post-pandemic world, she advised .
"Investment can free up experienced and talented members of financial reporting teams, who can apply themselves to more value-added tasks," she noted.
- Respondents indicated that before the pandemic, their respective corporate organisations placed a fairly low priority on technology-based financial reporting solutions.
- Two-thirds indicated they were behind other internal teams in competition for resources.
- Around 30% expressed interest in a technology-based solution for various activities around the documenting of management review processes and judgment areas.
- About 1 in 5 respondents have changed their prioritisation or budgets for technology-based corporate reporting solutions for 2021 and into the post-pandemic period.
- Respondents prefer new solutions for two areas: control ownership and succession, and assessing revenue expectations.
- Respondents from private companies expressed more interest in solutions around accounting processes that require estimates and sorting data.