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Corporate reporting challenges CFOs

By: Andrew McPherson, Accounting, Audit & Finance

Few roles are as essential to business success as accounting jobs. Whether they're providing an advisory service to clients or ensuring an organisation remains financially compliant and stable, they have a direct influence on the way a company operates.

However, the increasing complexity in these roles and the rest of the finance department within businesses is creating further challenges both for individuals and the companies in which they work. Ernst & Young (EY) found that the effects of these concerns is having an impact at all levels, especially for senior leadership teams.

Reporting challenges impact Australian CFOs
Financial compliance is a constant concern for organisations throughout the country, and one that elevates in status as the financial year begins to draw to a close. End of financial year stress aside, however, the CFO role is currently still a stressful one, as compliance concerns become a year-round focus for many people leading these teams across Australia.

According to EY's most recent survey on the matter, less than half (40 per cent) of Australian CFOs are confident in their level of compliance. On top of this, just 22 per cent believe they are clearly communicating with their various stakeholders.

EY FAAS Partner Graham Jackson provided guidance for business leaders who feel like they fit into these two groups and want to improve their reporting capability.

"Corporate reporting needs to be all things to all people – relevant, timely and cost effective," he began. "CFOs need to step back and evaluate what they are producing and be prepared to engage regularly with key stakeholders on their needs."

"Only then can they be confident of delivering a valuable product."

The changing face of investment
Much of the increased complexity found in accounting and CFO roles can be attributed to the way the digital economy is changing the flow of money. For organisations and individuals, publicly available crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have changed the nature of investing.

KPMG refers to these platforms as alternative finance, or Alt-Fi, and notes that it is a field experiencing significant growth as organisations realise the various benefits. However, as it is a disruptive addition to the economy, regulations that govern activity in the sector are still evolving, as Global Co-Lead for KPMG's Fintech practice Ian Pollari explained.

"While it is very encouraging to see the Australian government and regulators prioritising fintech and alternative-finance, it is clear that more work needs to be done to further enhance our policy and regulatory settings if Australia is to retain and enhance its position as a leading Asian and global market."

 

About Ethos BeathChapman, EBC:

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