Confidence misplaced about accuracy of financial data reveals research by Source and Advanced
Majority of financial professionals have confidence in their records but further analysis reveals data and processing concerns
16 October 2012 – Confidence is misplaced about the accuracy of organisations’ financial data, according to recent research by the Commercial Division of Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) in partnership with SourceforConsulting (Source). Source surveyed 104 decision makers including senior financial professionals across UK mid-sized organisations, and conducted interviews with management consultants, to understand their experiences of creating and using financial information.
The findings from the survey ‘Making the numbers add up – how better financial accounting can support and promote growth’ reveal that the majority of financial professionals surveyed are confident that their accounts receivable (AR), accounts payable (AP) and general ledger (GL) data is correct (100%, 97% and 97% respectively). In addition, 77% have confidence in the accuracy of their fixed assets data.
However further analysis suggests that this confidence is misplaced with 42% of financial professionals admitting that their AR data lags behind reality by more than one day, with 55%, 48% and 77% of respondents respectively stating the same about their AP, GL and fixed ledger data. In addition, the majority of respondents acknowledge the use of spreadsheets as part of their processes for producing AR, AP, GL and fixed asset records, with a startling 77% of respondents using spreadsheets as part of both their AR and GL processes.
Simon Fowler, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial Division), says, “Financial professionals are more confident than they should be about the accuracy of their financial data. With many survey respondents admitting that information is not updated in their finance system in real-time and with the use of error-prone spreadsheets being widespread, it’s time for organisations to challenge their existing financial systems and processes.”
Rachel Ainsworth, Senior Research Manager from SourceforConsulting, adds, “It’s important for organisations to have an honest review of their financial records and their procedures for updating these. To achieve total confidence in financial records, data needs updating in a timely fashion and the use of unreliable and time-consuming tools, such as spreadsheets, should be replaced with smart, automated technologies.”
Notes to Editor
To receive a copy of the research report ‘Making the numbers add up – how better financial accounting can support and promote growth’, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sourceforconsulting.com is a leading provider of information about the market for management consulting. Set up in 2007 and based in London, Source serves both consulting firms and their clients with expert analysis, research and reporting. We draw not only on our extensive in-house experience, but also on the breadth of our relationships with both suppliers and buyers. All of our work is underpinned by our core values of intelligence, integrity, efficiency and transparency.
Sourceforconsulting.com is owned by Source Information Services Ltd, an independent company, which was founded by Fiona Czerniawska and Joy Burnford. Fiona is one of the world's leading experts on the consulting industry. She has written numerous books on the industry including: The Intelligent Client and The Economist books, Business Consulting: A Guide to How it Works and How to Make it Work and Buying Professional Services. Joy Burnford was Marketing and Operations Director at the UK Management Consultancies Association between 2003 and 2010, and prior to that worked for PA Consulting Group and has extensive experience of marketing consulting services.
About Advanced Business Solutions www.advancedcomputersoftware.com/abs
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments. These can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.
Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.
Liz Ebbrell and Angela Mycock, Advanced Computer Software Group
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