Blockchain: disrupting the future of reporting as we know it?
Blockchain records transactions using a distributed ledger, which gives every network participant a secure audit trail of all transactions ever made – in near real-time. Some commentators, therefore, expect the technology to become the industry standard for reporting and accounting, replacing existing back-end IT and traditional reporting practices. If blockchain is used to automatically consolidate accounting records automatically, then reporting teams can spend less time on cross-checking and aggregation, and more time on analyzing data that can be trusted.
This research shows that a number of finance leaders agree on the technology’s potential. Our research shows that close to one-quarter (24%) say that blockchain will be finance’s most important technology in five years’ time. Of course, a number of challenges will need to be overcome. For example, key stakeholders – from regulators to boards – would need to agree on and implement the required regulatory environment.
Build trust in your data analytics
Finance leaders are focusing on turning data into reporting insight, but they have to negotiate a difficult balancing act; driving innovation in how they use data without compromising standards and undermining trust.
This research shows that concerns about data risk are at the top of finance leaders’ minds. And concerns about data security are one of the most critical barriers to implementing new reporting technologies.
However, concerns about digital and data risks should not hold organizations back. To get to true value-driven reporting finance teams should be able to embrace their data with confidence. This will require changes not only to technology and processes, but also to mindset, skills and governance.
Top 5 challenges facing finance leaders today are:
- Heightening data protection and privacy risk
- Meeting the pace of technology change
- Increasing scrutiny and regulatory change
- Increasing demand for real-time, forward-looking information
- Meeting changing societal norms