Survey: Large Majority of Business and Finance Executives Lack Confidence Their Data is Accurate

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Feb 3, 2021

While companies have become increasingly data-driven over the years, a majority of business and finance leaders are unsure whether they can actually trust the information to be accurate, according to a survey of about 1,300 executives and finance professionals worldwide conducted by accounting software firm Blackline.

The survey found that 70 percent of the respondents are not confident that the financial data they use for financial analysis and forecasting is accurate. The issues seems to be one of transparency and speed: the leaders don't always know where the data came from, and they often worry that the lead time is so long that it's not as relevant as it was before. The poll found that 28 percent are worried that their finance and accounting departments are not able to provide data quickly enough for their company to respond to unpredictable market changes; meanwhile, 27 percent said that they have no visibility into financial scenario planning or stress testing at their organization, suggesting that key business leaders could be making decisions based on an incomplete picture of their organization’s financial health.

Presentation was another major factor: 37 percent of respondents who didn't trust their companies' data said that the main reason was their continued reliance on clunky spreadsheets and outdated processes that leave finance and accounting teams in the dark until month-end.

This might explain, then, why just 34 percent (a still sizeable portion, but far from the majority) say that investing in their companies' data analytics capabilities will help their organizations retain a competitive edge and are considering implementing or scaling automation solutions to help increase the accuracy and reliability of their organizations' financial data.

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