Press releases

Poor data quality, ineffective technology and talent issues continue to hinder management reporting in finance functions

14 April 2016

  • Data quality inhibits effective decision-making in over half of finance functions.
  • Over a third of finance directors do not believe their technology is supportive.
  • Thirty-nine per cent do not believe their teams have the expertise needed to deliver quality reporting and analysis.

Fifty-three per cent of finance function leaders see poor data quality as a problem in their organisation that can affect decision making, according to Deloitte, the business advisory firm. Delivering insightful management reporting: Challenges and opportunities for CFOs shows this figure increases to 80 per cent in organisations where executive sponsorship is not available.*

The survey also reveals that in a third of organisations, technology does not support effective performance management. These activities include consolidation, planning, budgeting, forecasting and management reporting. This suggests that dramatic changes to technology toolsets and processes are needed.

Simon Barnes, UK performance management solutions leader at Deloitte, explains: “High quality data and technology form the foundations of insightful management reporting. If data is poor or inadequate technology is being used, then it can be difficult for CFOs, financial controllers and other finance leaders to present meaningful management reports. There is much that can be done to address the problem, such as better governance of master data, upgrading reporting platforms, and putting in place business-led and targeted data quality initiatives.”

Deloitte’s research finds that building the right talent and skills is also important. Sixty-nine per cent of finance function leaders want their finance business partners to spend the majority of their time undertaking higher value activities, such as interacting with stakeholders in the business.**

Yet in reality, in almost half of organisations finance business partners focus on low value activities, such as creating and updating reports. In addition, almost four in 10 respondents do not believe their teams have the expertise needed to deliver quality reporting and analysis.

Barnes concludes: “Clearly, challenges remain around the skills available to finance and the behaviours that are encouraged among professionals in this function. Once again, improved data quality and technology could help. For example, where technology supports effective performance management, finance business partners are twice as likely to spend their time interacting and communicating with the business. Whilst organisations often struggle to find the right talent, developing a rewarding and structured career path for current finance business partners should be a top priority. Now these issues have risen to the surface, it’s time for the finance function to step up and take action.”

End

Notes to editors

About Deloitte’s Global Management Reporting Survey
Deloitte asked senior finance executives to complete an online survey on the subject of management reporting and analysis. The information, which was collected from 614 finance leaders from 25 countries between March and October 2015, has been analysed in aggregate and forms the basis of Deloitte’s “Delivering insightful management reporting: Challenges and opportunities for CFOs” report. See the full report here.

*Executive sponsorship refers to senior or boardroom sponsorship on an initiative. In this instance, it relates to backing from business leaders to improve data quality across all functions. This is often driven by the CIO.

**For the purpose of this publication finance business partnering is defined as the role that finance undertakes to support the strategic and tactical priorities of the business, by delivering guidance in support of future performance.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Stephanie Dobbs
Deloitte LLP
+44 020 7303 2636
+44 077 6817 8264
stdobbs@deloitte.co.uk

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