FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singaporean CFOs doubtful about effectiveness of corporate reporting: report

Almost 1 in 5 are concerned about compliance.

Almost a fifth of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in Singapore are not overly confident in the degree of corporate reporting compliance in the city-state, revealed a report by EY.

EY's report revealed that globally, CFOs are losing confidence in corporate reporting and its effectiveness, as pressure from audit committees, the complexity of implementing new reporting requirements and reporting overload affect performance.

In Singapore, 82% of CFOs reported high confidence levels in the degree of compliance. However, confidence levels dropped sharply in terms of of consistency in the application of key performance indicators (38%), and extent of benchmark reporting to peers (25%)

“The dynamics of operating in Singapore, especially the regulatory, taxation and enforcement regimes, which have less punitive outcome and less overbearing oversight, create a relatively more comfortable environment for Singapore respondents to operate in. Balanced against this, many key performance indicators or benchmarks are driven by American and European influences and may be more tailored to their needs, thus creating more uncertainty for local CFOs,” said Chiang Joon-Arn, EY’s Asia-Pacific FAAS Leader.

Yet 30% of CFOs agree that meeting the needs of the audit committee and supervisory boards is the most critical factor in driving the importance of effective reporting. External reporting fares no better, with less than half or just 43% of CFOs saying that their reporting is effective in meeting the expectations of those outside their organization.

“CFOs need to step back and evaluate what they are producing and address concerns over confidence and effectiveness quickly. To delay means that the timeliness and accuracy of reporting will continue to affect performance. Corporate reporting will only serve its intended purpose if the CFO is confident of its value,” Chiang says.  

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