How new technology and skills can help rebuild trust in business

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4 minute read 18 Feb 2019
By

Peter Wollmert

EY Global and EY EMEIA Financial Accounting Advisory Leader

Senior Assurance leader. Promoting quality and effectiveness in corporate reporting and the audit. Advocate for the future of the accounting profession. Passionate runner and scuba diver.

4 minute read 18 Feb 2019

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The 2018 EY corporate reporting survey suggests three critical areas for business leaders to address.

Organizations today urgently need to explain how they are creating long-term value. EY’s fifth annual global corporate reporting survey looks at three areas finance leaders can focus on to achieve this, and so help to rebuild trust between corporates and their stakeholders.

1. Challenge the corporate reporting system

Only 58% of the finance leaders surveyed believe businesses are highly trusted by the public. Too often, reporting fails to show how intangible assets – such as corporate culture – drive performance. Yet 72% of those surveyed agree that investors increasingly use nonfinancial information in their decision-making.

So finance teams should:

  • Focus on accounting for and explaining performance more clearly and coherently.
  • Manage nonfinancial information with the same rigor and assurance as financial information.

2. Make the most of smart technologies

Organizations have access to more data than ever before, but they can be overwhelmed by the volume and variety of that data. In the EY research, 49% of finance leaders say they spend more time gathering and processing data than analyzing it.

So finance teams should:

  • Exploit advances in automation, artificial intelligence and blockchain.
  • Build trust into data analytics.

3. Transform the finance workforce

To exploit the huge amount of data available, finance teams require a different talent profile and skill sets. A significant majority (79%) of the CFOs surveyed say there is an urgent need for finance to recruit new skills.

However, many organizations don’t know what those skills are or where to find them. Resistance to change can also impede progress: 63% of those surveyed say resistance and cultural barriers within finance teams are barriers to digital innovation.

So finance teams should:

  • Get creative about the people and profiles they require.
  • Take a more innovative approach to hiring, talent development and resourcing.

The views of third parties set out in this article are not necessarily the views of the global  EY organization or its member firms. Moreover, they should be seen in the context of the time they were made.

Summary

The findings of EY’s latest corporate reporting survey suggest that business leaders need to exploit the potential of new technologies, and new talent with the skills to use it, if they want to restore trust and explain to stakeholders how they are creating long-term value.

About this article

By

Peter Wollmert

EY Global and EY EMEIA Financial Accounting Advisory Leader

Senior Assurance leader. Promoting quality and effectiveness in corporate reporting and the audit. Advocate for the future of the accounting profession. Passionate runner and scuba diver.