A new research by Oracle and Accenture has shown that companies in Nigeria are not following the global trend of investing in financial reporting systems intended to improve their close reporting and filing processes.
The report titled 'Challenges of Corporate Financial Reporting' said low investment in latest Information Technology infrastructure for running financial reports had left businesses with ineffective solutions and a lack of visibility, quality and confidence in their financial data.
The report, which suggested that a lack of investment m proper software and an over-reliance on spreadsheets and e-mail^, increased costs and results m ineffectual financial reporting, highlighted that businesses were able to fully understand the cost of their financial reporting, with 74 per cent of finance professionals unable to identify the total cost.
The report also said this was remarkably higher than the global average of 60 per cent.
The report, conducted by Dynamic Markets between February 10, 2012 and March 15, 2012, surveyed 1,123 finance professionals in large organisations in 12 countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Russia.
The report, highlighted that businesses in Nigeria recognized the need to invest in new financial reporting systems to address efficiency challenges.
Oracle Country Manager, Nigeria, Mrs. Layo Ajayi, said, "80 per cent of surveyed companies have made changes over the last three years to their close, filing and reporting processes. Meanwhile, only 18 per cent have invested substantially in at least one of these three areas over the past 12 months, the lowest in the survey along with the Middle East."
The report said, "74 per cent of Nigerian respondents admitted they did not know the total cost of managing and publicizing financial results, whereas 60 per cent of companies globally confessed that they were unable to put a figure to the cost.
Eighty-eight per cent of respondents admitted that they had inadequate visibility of reportingprocesses as compared with ots per cent globally, while 82 per cent of finance managers reported that they found it difficult to control the quality of financial data across the course of their reporting, highlighting that additional attention should be paid to performance management."
"Despite the challenges presented by unreliable and opaque data, finance teams are sanguine about how effectively they can do their jobs. 72 per cent of finance managers feel then-effectiveness is limited in some way by data analysis-related issues, most admitting they did not have adequate visibility of reporting processes.
Failure to meet formal reporting deadlines was most common m Nigeria, with 32 per cent of businesses indicating" that they have missed statutory Tilings," it added.