BlackLine Blog

November 20, 2019

Getting the Green Light From Investors: How Finance Can Help

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Mario Spanicciati

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Accountants across the globe have a shared purpose: to report on financial information that will inform the most critical business decisions. As a result, it’s imperative that these numbers are delivered with accuracy and complete confidence.

But trust in Audit and Accounting has been shaken by misreporting and fraud scandals. Our recent survey revealed that trust in public companies dropped 10% in just 3 years, and also exposed a trust gap: while 70% of CFOs trust the accuracy of their financial data, only 38% of accounting professionals say the same.

If our F&A organizations lack confidence in the numbers, how can we expect the general public to trust this data?

There’s an opportunity for finance and accounting organizations to address this gap and begin increasing investor confidence.

To gain a better understanding of the role that F&A can play, BlackLine worked with independent research firm Censuswide to ask over 760 institutional investors what they think about the financial controls and processes at their portfolio companies.

Keep reading to learn a few of the key results. You can get your copy of the full report here, which includes BlackLine’s take on how to protect investor trust.

The Importance of Real-Time, Accurate Financial Reporting

High-profile examples of financial fraud and non-compliance are contributing to declining investor trust. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed are concerned about the lack of transparency in their portfolio companies’ financial statements, and with the technological innovation available to Finance, there is no excuse for a lack of visibility into the numbers.

A more granular, real-time view of financial data is becoming essential to help investors understand how organizations are performing at any given time. In fact, 52% of investors strongly agree that when a company has a good track record of accurate financial reporting, it helps them feel informed.

Re-Focus on Financial Management

According to those surveyed, one of the best ways for a company to reassure its investors is to demonstrate that it can properly manage its finances. Ninety-five percent either agree or strongly agree that clear evidence of good financial management is key to their decision-making process.

Investors rely on accurate outputs from finance departments to make investment decisions and want real-time access to a detailed view of a company’s accounts. Forty-six percent believe that key metrics within a company’s financial reports, including audited statements of income and cash flows, are important for decision-making.

Creating Digital Confidence

The international business landscape is more complex and uncertain today than it was a year ago—and the challenges we’re facing are projected to continue and compound.

As a result, according to Tony Klimas, Principal, Global Performance Improvement Finance Leader

At EY, “investors and the capital markets in general like surprise disclosures and restated financial statements less than ever. In fact, they are quick to penalize companies that have these problems.

“Trust in the numbers and what we at EY call ‘digital confidence’ in business processes are critical factors to maintaining growth and shareholder return.

Read the full report to learn more about how your company’s financial practices impact your investor’s decisions.

About the Author


Mario Spanicciati