LOS ANGELES, LONDON, SINGAPORE and SYDNEY – Feb. 19, 2019 – A global survey of C-suite executives and finance professionals commissioned by BlackLine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BL), a leading provider of financial controls and automation software, has revealed that over half (55%) of respondents are not completely confident they can identify financial errors before reporting results.
BlackLine commissioned independent global research firm Censuswide to survey over 1,100 C-suite executives and finance professionals in large and midsize organizations across the world to establish accuracy confidence levels in financial data and perceived impact of errors on business.
Not only is there evidence of a disconnect between C-suite respondents and finance professionals when it come to confidence in the accuracy of financial data, but nearly seven in 10 respondents believe that their organization has made significant business decisions based on inaccurate data. Many identified this as a hidden problem, with over a quarter (26%) stating concern over errors that they know must exist, but of which they have no visibility.
The BlackLine survey results show an overwhelming acknowledgment that inaccurate financial data has negative implications both externally and internally, yet also shows that many organizations continue to be challenged by human error and anever-increasing volume of data sources, as well as outdated technology.
“It is concerning that so many organizations are not confident in their ability to identify errors and ensure accurate reporting,” Mario Spanicciati, chief strategy officer at BlackLine, said. “The high-profile misreporting scandals we see in the news could be just the tip of a larger financial inaccuracy iceberg. It seems clear that not only are reporting errors prevalent, but that many of these inaccuracies remain hidden below the surface.There is no longer any excuse for not having full visibility into accurate numbers from which to report and drive business forward.”
Survey highlights included:
Misplaced C-suite trust in the numbers
Many organizations are betting their business on inaccurate financial data
Low confidence levels in ability to spot errors to ensure accurate reporting
Counting the cost of hidden inaccuracies
Accepted margins of error worryingly wide, despite recognition of pressure to close accuracy gap
The research suggests that CEOs are making business decisions on numbers in which they are confident, but the people preparing the statements and reports are not. The result is a heightened and unnecessary level of risk for many large organizations.
The implications of this are potentially severe. They include not only the financially negative impact of strategic decisions based on inaccurate numbers, but also the repercussions of failing to comply in an ever-expanding regulatory global business environment.
Spanicciati concluded: “Unless there is recognition that this is an unacceptable and unnecessary level of risk, we can expect to see an increase in large-scale financial misreporting. Business leaders have a responsibility to ensure that the processes and technology are in place to enable continuous visibility and accuracy of financial data. At a time when advanced tools to help automate controls and ensure accuracy are available and proven, there’s really no excuse.”
BlackLine will be conducting a webinar on Wednesday, March 13th, with CFO Magazine (to be replayed via Proformative on Thursday, March 28th) highlighting the findings of the survey and discussing the potential implications. To sign up or learn more, please follow these links:
More information on the research, including a detailed whitepaper and infographics highlighting key stats, can be found here.
Notes to Editors:
The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 579 C-level and 575 finance professionals in seven markets (the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore), with minimum annual revenues as follows:
The survey was conducted online between Aug. 15th and Sept. 12th, 2018.
BlackLine is a provider of cloud-based solutions that transform Finance and Accounting (F&A) by automating, centralizing and streamlining financial close operations, intercompany accounting processes and other key F&A processes for large and midsize organizations. The company is recognized by Gartner as a Leader in its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close Solutions and as a pioneer in the cloud market for enhanced financial control and automation.
Designed to complement virtually all ERP and other financial systems including SAP, Oracle and NetSuite, BlackLine increases operational efficiency, real-time visibility, control and compliance to ensure end-to-end financial close management and accounting automation from within a single, unified cloud platform. Enabling customers to move beyond outdated processes and point solutions to a Continuous Accounting model, in which real-time automation, controls and period-end tasks are embedded within day-to-day activities, BlackLine helps companies modernize accounting operations with intelligent automation, ensuring more accurate and insightful financial statements and a more efficient financial close.
More than 2,600 companies with users around the world trust BlackLine to help ensure balance sheet integrity and confidence in their financial statements. Based in Los Angeles, BlackLine also has regional headquarters in London, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, please visit www.blackline.com