Australian CFOs losing faith in corporate reporting

Australian CFOs are lacking confidence in regards to corporate reporting and its effectiveness, particularly as they feel the strain of increased scrutiny from audit committees and supervisory boards.

According to the latest research from EY, the report Are you prepared for corporate reporting’s perfect storm? gathered responses from 1,000 CFOs globally, revealing that only 55 per cent are confident that they are achieving full compliance with their corporate reporting, compared with 84 per cent last year.

The responses from Australian CFOs depicted a similar trend, with only 40 per cent of CFOs confident in their overall level of compliance and only 22 per cent having confidence in the clarity and relevance of messages to respective audiences.

EY identified that the drop in confidence may be due to the fact that the level of attention given to reporting by key stakeholders has increased dramatically over the past three years, with 90 per cent of Australian survey respondents identifying increased attention from audit committees, analysts, investors and financial regulators.

“Audit committees are under the spotlight for how they carry out their responsibilities, so CFOs are in turn under pressure to provide more and more information. Yet it’s important this doesn’t result in reporting overload. CFOs must turn volumes of data into valuable reporting insight, which means having the right strategy, processes and skills in place,” said EY financial accounting and advisory services partner Graham Jackson.

“Corporate reporting needs to be all things to all people – relevant, timely and cost-effective. CFOs need to step back and evaluate what they are producing and be prepared to engage regularly with key stakeholders on their needs. Only then can they be confident of delivering a valuable product,” Mr Jackson concluded.

 

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