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Are CFOs unhappy about the effectiveness of corporate reporting?

It has become increasingly challenging to rely upon the accuracy of compliance reporting. According to a report by advisory firm EY, almost 2 in every 10 CFOs have expressed their apprehensions about the degree of effectiveness of corporate compliance reporting in the city-state.

The survey polled 1,000 CFOs from firms with annual revenues of more than US$500 million (S$690 million) across 25 countries, including 40 in Singapore.

There is a dip in the confidence level of CFOs globally in the effectiveness of corporate reporting given the pressure from audit committees, revisions in taxonomy and upcoming new requirements affecting performance and delivery, explains the report. Only 55% are confident compared with 84% last year. Narrowing down to Singapore, 82% of CFOs reported high confidence levels in the effectiveness of compliance reporting. However, confidence levels dropped sharply in terms of consistency in the application of key performance indicators (38%) and the extent of benchmark reporting to peers (25%).

“The dynamics of operating in Singapore, especially the regulatory, taxation and enforcement regimes, which have a less punitive outcome and less overbearing oversight, create a relatively more comfortable environment for Singapore respondents to operate in. Balanced against this, many key performance indicators or benchmarks are driven by American and European influences and may be more tailored to their needs, thus creating more uncertainty for local CFOs,” said Chiang Joon-Arn, EY’s Asia-Pacific FAAS Leader.

Innovative technology and insights of big data are considered critical to success. The ideal thing to do is to invest in reporting technologies in the coming years to visibly benefit from business operations and financial reporting.

“CFOs need to step back and evaluate what they are producing and address concerns over confidence and effectiveness quickly. To delay means that the timeliness and accuracy of reporting will continue to affect performance. Corporate reporting will only serve its intended purpose if the CFO is confident of its value,” Chiang says.

View complete report

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