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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Poll: Seven in 10 Singapore executives made business decisions based on inaccurate data

Only 27% of firms agreed they could trust that their finance teams identified all errors to ensure they are reporting accurately.

Seven in 10 of Singapore’s top senior executives and finance professionals believe their organisations have made significant business decisions based on inaccurate data, according to survey commissioned by automation software provider BlackLine, Inc.

Close to half or 45% of respondents identified this as a hidden problem amongst their firms.

The poll, which surveyed over 1,100 senior executives and finance professionals of which 100 were from Singapore, also found that less than one in five or 19% of Singapore’s top senior executives and finance professionals are not completely confident in their abilities to identify financial errors before reporting results.

Also read: Two in three Singapore executives struggle with balancing demands of employees and customers

As a result, only 40% of senior executives surveyed claimed to completely trust the accuracy of their financial data, whilst only 32% of finance professionals said the same. Compared to the global average of 54%, confidence amongst Singapore’s executives is lacking.

Meanwhile, only 27% of respondents agreed they could trust that their finance team and CFOs had identified all errors to ensure they are reporting accurately, the survey found. Respondents primarily cited human error (51%), the complexity of collecting and processing data (50%) and multiple data sources (40%) as the largest contributors to their lack of trust.

“It is concerning that so many organisations are not confident in their ability to identify errors and ensure accurate reporting,” BlackLine’s chief strategy officer Mario Spanicciati said in a statement. “The high 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.”

According to the survey, 62% of respondents in Singapore said that a company they’ve worked for had to restate their earnings due to inaccuracies in financial data that were not identified prior to reporting.

“Many large global organisations are constantly having to fix financial errors in their accounts,” BlackLine commented. “In almost a quarter (22%) of cases, C-suite respondents said it takes up to 10 days per month of their organisation to identify errors and make adjustments, potentially wasting as many as 120 days each year.” 

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