19 Jul

EXCHANGE RATES AND THE GREATER COMPETITION, ARE TOP RISKS BETWEEN 2018 -2019 FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES

BDO’s newly released 2018 Telecommunications Risk Factor Survey reveals that telecommunications executives have relegated disruption from new technologies to third place in their risk top 5: the number one risk identified by 60 telecommunications companies surveyed right now is exchange rate volatility, according to phone companies and internet providers.

This latest edition of the BDO 2018 Telecommunications Risk Factor Survey ranks the 5 most significant risks facing telecoms companies as follows:

  1. Exchange rate/foreign currency changes
  2. Increased competition
  3. The fast arrival of new technologies
  4. Access to finance
  5. Interest rate pressures

The telecoms market is especially vulnerable to volatile exchange rates because of its growing cross-border customer base – brought about by the internet and globalisation. Global incidents including Brexit, the North Korea negotiations, regulatory agendas and Trump’s trade war are just a few of the risks that shake up exchange rates.

Telecommunications’ structural dependency requires capital to upgrade and build the infrastructure to keep up with markets’ technology expectations and this underlies 2 further risks in BDO’s top 5: namely, access to finance and interest rate pressures. Credit ratings in the industry are not at the levels they used to be, and profit per customer seems to be falling, which means that access to funding presents a significant risk. In the same vein, telecommunications executives rate profitability risks as being 3 times higher than in 2017. Risks associated with gaining market share are up by 100% in BDO’s risk survey, while risk from saturation/decline of the telecoms market is up by 80%.


The traditional companies are evolving – Telecoms mitigate risk:

A clear trend from BDO’s 2018 survey is that telecoms are generally reporting lower risks than previously: a trend that applies in particular to financial and regulatory risks. BDO’s survey found that the industry as a whole is taking an increasingly proactive approach to the risks they face and is busy diversifying their business portfolios. As traditional industry borders and silos continue to come down, telecoms companies are entering new markets especially in the technology space. This trend could be summarised as telecoms companies moving towards becoming ‘unified-coms companies’, in other words, entities that target all aspects and types of communications.

These are just a taste of the conclusions of the BDO 2018 Telecommunications Risk Factor Survey. Now in its fourth year, the report analyses risks identified by around sixty telecoms companies worldwide, covering key markets in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions. This year’s edition of BDO’s risk survey also analyses recurring trends and ongoing developments in the telecoms space, including digital transformation, regulatory burdens, the growth of cyber warfare and macroeconomic and political volatility.

06 Jun

Tony North, co-founder and CEO of Centtrip Music The hidden stars of the music industry

As any amateur musician can testify, it’s not easy to make it as an artist. What is less well known though is that a key ingredient for commercial success in the music business is the support of a talented accountant.

Accountants are rarely in the public eye, but their job is crucial. It is about far more than just dealing with invoices and tax returns – they are more like business managers. In addition to keeping the books in order, they help create financial structures that set artists up for long-term success and a strong bottom line.

International experts

The global nature of the industry and the rise in international touring means that accountants increasingly deal with the tax systems of multiple countries. Withholding taxes on foreign income and double taxation have always posed a challenge for those with international clients, so a watertight global strategy is crucial to avoid unnecessary charges.

Take for example, the journey of an Ed Sheeran track, from being written to being aired on the radio in 50 different countries and then being performed around the world. Accountants must ensure that money made from the song, as well as from merchandise and commercial usage, is in line with cross-border compliance to avoid incurring fines or legal fees.

For the process to work, multiple streams of people are employed, from production teams and music technicians through to advertisers and marketers, all of whom require spending budgets and wages. International transactions are subject to currency exchange fees, making it difficult to track how much was spent on tangible goods and services, opening more doors for cross border costs to mount up.

From sales to streams

It is no secret that streaming has become one of the most popular ways to purchase music. According to the BPI and Official Charts Company, the growth in buying and listening to music last year was driven by audio streaming, which soared 51.5 per cent to just over 68 million albums. This has proven difficult for start-ups and catalogue artists with only a modest amount of material, but for major artists with multitude of tracks and equity in music platforms, streaming is an invaluable service.

The rise of streaming has revolutionised the way in which people engage with music and continues to gain traction, and entrepreneurially minded accountants have taken advantage of this opportunity. Dissecting the challenges and aligning business models with these new streaming platforms, they have created new ways to create maximum exposure for artists.

To celebrate and recognise the role that these unsung heroes play in driving the success of the music industry, we have launched The Legal & Accountancy 50. This initiative is also a great opportunity to help music managers identify the truly exceptional accounting professionals and lawyers who are helping to shape the industry and upon whom some of the world’s biggest stars depend.

22 Nov

BNP Paribas Asset Management enters into strategic alliance with European alternative SME credit specialist Caple

Through a strategic alliance and the acquisition of a 10% stake in Caple, BNP Paribas Asset Management (‘BNPP AM’) is providing an innovative platform to offer alternative credit to European SMEs

Caple facilitates access to alternative credit for SMEs, working with international institutional investors to address gaps in the funding landscape by offering finance that complements traditional bank loans.  A proprietary technology platform supports an efficient end-to-end credit application, combining origination by local partner networks of accountancy and advisory firms with an initial credit assessment by Caple’s experienced credit analysis teams.  Caple’s technology also ensures transparency and standardisation of loan terms and documentation.  Financing typically takes the form of unsecured loans with a tenor of five to eight years.

While SMEs contribute significantly to economic growth and job creation, they remain under-served by the financial markets, often lacking access to suitable funding.  However, increasing bank disintermediation and the growth of fintech solutions is causing an expansion of the alternative credit market and leading to a paradigm shift in SME lending.  For borrowers, alternative lending models can offer more rapid access to funding, while for investors, SME loans can offer portfolio diversification and attractive risk-adjusted returns relative to traditional asset classes.

BNPP AM, through its incubation fund, has acquired a 10% stake in Caple.  The partnership is part of the establishment of its SME Advanced Solutions platform, a recently-launched initiative within its Private Debt & Real Assets investment group, led by David Bouchoucha.  The open architecture platform will source loans across multiple origination channels in Europe, including banks and fintechs, and distribute them to institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies.  The platform is supported by solid bank infrastructure and selected partners, such as Caple, who will originate loans for BNPP AM through their own network of accountants and advisors across Europe.  The platform will operate within a robust credit risk framework and focus on senior unsecured fixed rate loans of between EUR 0.5 million and EUR 5 million (or GBP equivalent).  It will initially target SMEs in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, before broadening out more widely within Europe.

Stéphane Blanchoz, Head of SME Advanced Solutions at BNP Paribas Asset Management comments:

This alliance combines the needs of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s investors with Caple’s expertise as an originator of SME loans.  The trend towards disintermediation and the growing need for SME funding creates opportunities for lending platforms, such as SME Advanced Solutions, that can offer alternative credit as a complementary source of finance alongside traditional bank lending.  Meanwhile, as institutional investors look to diversify their portfolios and generate higher levels of return than are available in public fixed income markets, they are increasingly attracted to the enhanced yields potentially available from SME lending

Dominic Buch, Managing Partner of Caple, comments:

Caple’s experienced local market credit teams, partner networks and proprietary technology, together with BNP Paribas Asset Management’s credit expertise and institutional distribution capability is a compelling combination.  This alliance allows us to effectively address the significant gaps in the European funding landscape by offering access to alternative credit to complement traditional lending models.  We look forward to working with the SME Advanced Solutions Platform and our Partners in the accountancy and advisory industries to provide successful SMEs with access to fairly priced business loans at scale, across Europe
09 Nov

haysmacintyre takes up larger London office premises

haysmacintyre, the top 30 accountancy firm will move to Queen Street Place, located on the north side of Southwark Bridge, as of 18th December 2017. At over 25,500 sq ft, the new office is 8,000 sq ft larger than the firm’s existing premises and will serve as home to 35 partners and over 230 staff.

An impressive growth trajectory and desire to keep the whole firm together on one floor of a building has driven the decision. Since moving to new offices in Holborn in 2013, the firm’s turnover has grown by 43% and headcount has expanded by 27%. In October the team won ‘Audit Team of the Year’ at the British Accountancy Awards 2017, demonstrating the high value of professional audit advice delivered to clients. With four senior lateral hires and three new audit partner promotions having been announced in recent months, the additional space will allow the firm to continue to expand.

The building includes an impressive roof terrace, well suited to both client and staff meetings, with fantastic views of the Thames and the Southbank, sitting opposite the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. Working facilities include a central hub area with a café at the heart of the office. The entire firm are currently being consulted on key elements of how the new office is set up and equipped.

Ian Cliffe, managing partner at haysmacintyre commented:

The move to Queen Street Place represents an important new chapter in the growth story of the firm. A key element of the search was to accommodate the whole firm on one floor as we believe it helps cement our firm culture and ensures that clients benefit from a truly integrated service. We are delighted to have secured a space which gives us significant headroom for further growth.
We hope the fantastic views and dedicated space for creative and collaborative thinking will inspire our staff, visitors, and potential recruits alike. We look forward to welcoming our clients to our new home in the coming months
09 Nov

UK’s Late Payments Culture Impacting 4 in 10 Businesses

Concur, the world leader in employee spend management, has today released a major report examining the UK’s late payment culture, which is putting job creation at risk. The report, entitled Invoice Utopia, includes detailed YouGov polling of 1,233 British businesses and sheds new light on the consequences of poor invoice processes.

The report is published just days after Government announced its Made Smarter industrial strategy, which outlined proposals to create 175,000 new manufacturing jobs and add £455bn to the economy by embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The report highlighted the consequences of late invoice payments, with businesses being forced to take action to protect cash flows. Responding to the problem companies said they would have to take the following steps: making redundancies (7%), stopping planned investments (17%), being unable to pay salaries (15%) and significantly reducing innovation spend (10%).

A key finding of the report is that 40% of British businesses said they have received a late payment in the last month, a trend which could undermine job creation.

Such a high volume of late payments is significantly worrying when 57,960 businesses each year – 23% of the total number of business deaths – is currently caused by late payments.

The consequences of late payment culture were also exposed with 32% of businesses saying they would feel a significant impact if their biggest customer did not pay an invoice for 90 days – a relatively common occurrence.

In devastating news for the UK’s thriving businesses community, the research discovered that 63% of medium sized businesses (50-249 employees) receive late payments at least once every month, compared to 40% of small businesses, dispelling the myth that smaller companies are often worst hit.

The polling revealed that 21% of medium sized businesses said they would have to stop planned investment if their biggest customer failed to pay a substantial invoice for 90 days, 14% saying that they would not be able to pay salaries and 15% significantly reducing innovation spend. Most worryingly, compared to 6% in small businesses and 7% in large businesses, 11% of medium sized companies said they would also be forced to make redundancies.

Emma Maslen, Senior Regional Director for Enterprise at Concur, explains this issue:

As Britain builds its digital future, it’s shocking that so many medium-sized businesses are the most heavily affected by late payments. This underlines the very real risk this culture poses to the viability of some of the country’s leading employers.
Although not cash-rich, small and micro businesses have the agility and flexibility to make strategic decisions when it comes to cash flow. And of course, enterprises more often than not have a ‘cash cushion’ available to bail them out in difficult situations. But for the mid-market, they have reached a position where they need to keep salaries and expenditure consistent, meaning they lack agility, but may be operating at a relatively slim margin in comparison to bigger players. This is crucial information about the oft-forgotten middle of our economy

Taking into account the business size of those deaths the report shows that approximately 353,000 jobs are being lost per year, or £549m through lost taxation capital. This figure does not include the average of 130 hours, or 16 working days, spent by the typical SME chasing late payments, meaning the overall impact of late payments could be substantially higher.

It’s no secret that late payments have long been an issue in British business – but indeed the scale of the problem has been thrown into sharp relief by the research. 73% of the businesses researched were affected by late payments – 46% in the last month. Once more, medium businesses, along with enterprise, were affected more than small business (63% for medium businesses, compared to 49% of large businesses and 40% for small businesses in the last month).

In parallel, medium-sized businesses are also the worst in regards to paying late, highlighting their reliance on steady cash flow. 56% of medium-sized businesses admitted to paying late at least once a year, in contrast to 47% at enterprise level – traditionally seen as the worst at paying on time.

These statistics show why Concur, as an expert in the area of payments, is launching the Invoice Utopia campaign, with a view to improve the world of payments between UK businesses. With further economic uncertainty, 86% of respondents said they wanted to see the same amount (59%) or greater protection (27%) through legislation for businesses affected by late payments. Therefore, a proactive approach to tackle late payments will have an enormous impact on the UK economy as we move into uncharted waters.

A major component of this will be the continued enforcement of duty to report. However, with 78% of SMEs unaware about these new requirements, the Government, especially the recently announced Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal, clearly needs to convey this message.

Dafydd Llewellyn, MD of UK SMB at Concur, concludes:

This report sets out a vision for an invoice utopia where IT ensures that late payments are a thing of the past. This can only be realised if change is present in technology, business culture and an innovative approach to payments and invoices.
Businesses need to lobby harder when negotiating their original payment terms; large businesses need to realise the potential damage extortionate payment terms are bringing; government and regulators – in particular with the Small Business Commissioner and duty to report need to support all businesses; and technological tools that can give a clear picture of cash flow and payments should be utilised across the board. Only then will the burden be lifted from finance teams, businesses will have the room to grow and the UK economy will find itself in a powerful position to face the future.

 

17 Jul

Less than one third of businesses have made formal Brexit plans, says ICAEW

Less than one third of UK businesses (29%) have made Brexit plans, while less than one half (43%) have held meetings to discuss the opportunities and risks presented by leaving the European Union, according to recent ICAEW research. Of those businesses who have engaged in discussions, both formal and informal, two fifths (40%) expect EU negotiations to have a negative impact on their business – compared to only 6% who anticipate mainly positive outcomes.

With the clock ticking, the research also highlighted that almost a third of businesses (29%)  believe the free movement of goods, services, and capital between the UK and the EU is essential to growth, while one fifth (20%)  value access to a skilled workforce from the EU.

Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, said:

With 20 months until departure, it is now the Government’s responsibility to help pave the way for business success once we have exited the European Union. Issues raised within our research – such as access to skilled EU workers and the free movement of goods and services – should be firmly placed on the Prime Minister’s radar when she engages in talks with the EU to ensure the priorities of business are fully considered and complacency is avoided

One fifth (21%) of companies that have considered the impact are willing to explore new markets outside of the European Union. The intention to take advantage of export and trade opportunities is a positive indication that UK firms are prepared to embrace the changes leaving the EU could have on the day-to-day running their businesses.

Michael continued:

There are a number of businesses who are enthusiastic about export prospects, however their enthusiasm will be nothing more than a pipe dream if Government doesn’t provide the necessary funding and support. This should begin with devising a robust export voucher scheme that is fit for purpose, as well as renewing or replacing programmes such as the European Investment Fund to avoid venture capital from drying up
01 Jul

Four Reasons Bitcoin Is Catching On

The price of Bitcoin has reached an incredibly strong point, having been above $2,000 since mid-May, and reached as high as a hair over $3,000 earlier in June 2017.

Considering the price was just under $1000 entering 2017, that range shows substantial growth. This indicates that Bitcoin is not only being taken more seriously as an investment asset, but also as a digital currency.

Here are a few reasons for those shifts:

Influential Economies Are On Board

We wrote once before that governments should be nervous about Bitcoin, and as it turned out many of them were. In particular some of the governments with the larger economies in East Asia were so wary of the spread of cryptocurrency that they specifically sought to outlaw it or restrict its usage. But during the course of 2017 some of these countries—especially Japan and China—have eased up on their stances regarding Bitcoin. That allows for more free market expansion, and likely accounts for a significant portion of the cryptocurrency’s growth this year.

Security Is Being Highlighted

The main benefit of cryptocurrency is meant to be its security compared to ordinary money and money storage systems. That’s something people have needed time to adjust to, but various developments have started to highlight security advantages. Perhaps most interestingly, we’ve seen online gaming platforms that deal with real money gaming adopting Bitcoin specifically because of added security and no transaction costs. This is a fun, casual environment where people are beginning to see added security having a practical benefit. In a more everyday sense, we’ve also seen the Bitcoin wallet business growing, with newer and more secure options being unveiled all the time.

More Merchants Are Accepting Payments

This is less of a specific point and more of a perpetual development. The longer Bitcoin sticks around with high usage and strong pricing, the more merchants will begin to accept it as a legitimate form of payment. This is happening both online and in stores, and it’s certainly contributing to demand.

The Forecasts Are Dramatic

As Bitcoin has strengthened, we’ve started to see some dramatic, and almost outlandish forecasts for where it’s headed. One recent analysis predicted that the price could hit $10,000 by 2021, and another suggested it could reach $100,000 in the next decade! Some are also calling for a significant correction in the near future, and Bitcoin has looked a little shakier in just the last few weeks as of the time of this writing. But the long-term projections are often sky-high, and that definitely makes people more interested in getting on board.

14 Dec

LSE PRODUCTIVITY STUDY HIGHLIGHTS HOW BUSINESSES CAN MAKE GAINS OF UP TO 20%

The Power of Productivity report, a new study written by, Dr. Alexander Grous from the London School of Economics and Political Science,  identifies management best practice, technology and flexible working as three key levers which, when combined, have the power to unlock business productivity by as much as 20%.

The report, commissioned by Vodafone UK and undertaken by LSE, explores the UK’s productivity picture and draws upon a range of industry research as well as LSE interviews conducted with more than 20,000 businesses worldwide in 35 countries. It also highlights:

  • That while an organisation’s location can have an influence on business performance, a more granular assessment of the organisation itself can unlock productivity gains regardless of where it is based;
  • Many Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) are unaware of the options available or where to go for support to help them unlock productivity; and
  • The ability of firms to periodically re-structure and re-align to respond to market changes is critical in order to survive future scenarios – an assessment of current practices is key to understanding where more agility is needed and where it can be achieved.

The research comes at a time when recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show low productivity rates across the UK and the continuing struggle to match the productivity levels of G7 counterparts – the UK is currently in 6th place. The UK government also recently announced that raising productivity by just one per cent every year would add £250 billion to the size of the economy within a decade.

Dr Alexander Grous from LSE, said:

This study highlights the steps that organisations of all sizes in every corner of the UK can take to not only supercharge their productivity but also help improve the strength of the UK economy. From our findings, the best performing companies show that by combining good management thinking, technology and flexible working practices you can boost performance significantly. 
Taking this approach is also easier than many businesses think because the capabilities to move forward often already exist within the company. The first step is making the time to assess your business and identify where you can make improvements, with full support from the management team and organisation. The report provides some initial guidance on the questions that business leaders should ask 

Phil Mottram, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK, added:

There are levers that businesses can use to increase productivity in their organisation which give them the ability to be better prepared for the future. We have taken our own steps to transform the way we work, through our ‘Better Ways of Working’ initiative.  We are also working closely with businesses and public services across the UK to support how they transform the way their people, processes and operations work through new thinking and productive technologies.   However, there is clearly more to be done to help more businesses understand the options that are available to them.  The findings of the report highlight the need for greater collaboration and sharing of best practice across industry and the public sector, to help organisations make faster gains. UK business will face opportunity and uncertainty over the coming years.  It’s important that improving productivity is top of the agenda to make sure the UK is ‘ready for anything
24 May

A THIRD OF FTSE 100 ANNUAL REPORTS LEAVE INVESTORS WITH ‘INCOMPLETE PICTURE’ OF BUSINESS PERFORMANCE AND RISK

A third (33%) of FTSE 100 companies are withholding relevant information from their annual reports and painting an inaccurate picture of opportunity and risk, according to a new research report from the Valuing Your Talent partnership.

Valuing your Talent: Illustrating your company’s true value, shows that many organisations are failing to include vital workforce related information, including health and safety incidents, data breaches, skills challenges and employee turnover in their annual reports, creating a clear risk to users of these reports, such as investors.

In response, the Valuing Your Talent partnership – which brings together CIMA, CIPD and CMI – is calling on organisations to measure and disclose the impact and contribution of people on business performance so both they and key stakeholders can make informed decisions based on an accurate picture of opportunities and risk.

Using a variety of methods, the report assesses the current standard of human capital reporting by FTSE 100 companies by measuring if and how corporate reports have evolved between 2013 and 2015. It found that:

  • The space dedicated to people welfare in some reports has reduced significantly with 2 in 5 companies scaling back the amount information they report on.
  • However, a comparison between company reports and media reporting showed not all organisations were transparent about workforce issues in their corporate reports. For instance, there were three cases of workplace strikes amongst FTSE 100 companies in the media; two of the strikes were fully reported on in annual reports, one case was not reported at all. In total, there were four cases of employees being involved with insider trading in the media outlets but none of these were recorded in the annual reports.
  • The quality and quantity of reporting on human capital issues is improving – with an increase in reporting across ethics (up by 22%), diversity (up by 39%) and human rights (up by 127%)
  • Companies working in the areas of property and recreation saw the biggest increases in human capital reporting.
  • Banks have increased transparency after the recent financial crisis and PPI scandals

Former Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who launched the report at an event today, said:

Vince Cable Global AccountantThe modern business landscape is increasingly made up of intangibles such as intellectual, social and brand capitals. People are central to these intangibles – they lead, manage and deliver businesses. By failing to properly account for the impact and value of people, there is a huge discrepancy between a company’s balance sheet and its market valuation. This report also highlights that some businesses may not be disclosing relevant information to minimise negative reactions from investors. It shows a poor understanding of the significance of people related data and the need for greater transparency. Having a clearer view of the people in our workforces can only be a good thing; it could lift the lid on our productivity issues and the skills challenges that are preventing so many businesses from reaching their potential

The Valuing your Talent partnership is a collaborative industry-led movement including CIMA, the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, and the CMI. Working across professions, the partnership aims to improve human capital measurement and reporting, and ultimately ensure that organisations understand and communicate the value of their people to key audiences both inside and outside the business.

A key part of the partnership’s work has been the creation of the Valuing your Talent framework, a tool which recommends a common language for people reporting and includes consistent human capital measures that organisations can use to achieve greater transparency on their workforce.

Charles Tilley, Chief Executive, CIMA comments:

Charles Tilley, Chief Executive CIMA

This report shows just how big a shift is needed. We have to recognise people as the key to creating and preserving value. Failing to do so opens up major risks – and means that huge opportunities will be missed – because business leaders, investors and other stakeholders won’t have the data they need to make the right decisions. While the research does highlight some good practice by businesses such as, Royal Bank of Scotland, Legal and General and Royal Mail, it is clear that not all organisations are following their proactive approach to understanding their workforce and communicating their efforts and achievements to their stakeholders.To address these issues, taking an integrated approach is key. Finance and HR need to work together with others so that people measures are central to decision making in the boardroom – making the fullest possible use of Integrated Reporting <IR>. This combined effort is needed to provide the data which will provide the information required to drive insight that will transform business performance over the short, medium and long-term

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development said:

Whilst organisations appear to be improving their corporate reporting on how people help to drive organisational performance, there’s still a long way to go before we have a consistent picture of how organisations are managing and developing their people. With many more questions being raised about corporate cultures, diversity, engagement and wellbeing, as well as the changing nature of the workforce and how these impact productivity and risk, we need greater transparency and consistency of human capital reporting. We need more common definitions of key people and organisational metrics, and for businesses to better articulate how they are using these measures to provide consistent insight for all stakeholders. This is now vital in building trust, in understanding the real drivers of productivity, in understanding critical risks, and in helping to create better work and working environments for all

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, comments:

The number one driver of productivity and business growth is the quality of management and leadership, because that’s critical to how far organisations get the best from their people. But if managers don’t have sight of good people measures, they have a huge blind spot about performance and can’t make the best decisions about their business. The Valuing your Talent framework gives managers a clear model for talking with colleagues in HR and finance about what they need to measure and report when it comes to their people

29 Apr

Businesses blind to customer buying habits

Less than half of businesses know who their most profitable customers are, according to new research by KPMG and the ACCA.
The global report, which took in the views of 1,100 accountants from more than 90 countries around the world, found that companies still focus their financial measurement on product or service lines, rather than customers.  Just 45% of those surveyed monitor who their most profitable customers are and what they like to buy.

Only a third of businesses surveyed (32%) said they measure the profitability of their sales channels, leaving them unable to assess or forecast the continued cost of sales shifting to online.

John O’Mahony, Head of KPMG’s Enterprise Performance Management:

KPMGIn some businesses there remains at best, a stubborn focus on product and service profitability. This myopia is dominating financial reporting, while the customer and their buying habits remain mysteriously absent from management reports

Without knowing who is buying what, via whom and from where, businesses lack the insight needed to inform future investments associated with their fulfilment and operating model.  It also means they can’t price goods effectively, because they don’t know the real cost of selling them by specific channel

The study also revealed that finance functions are still reluctant to invest in, and use, new technology.  Almost a third (31%) of those surveyed said they still manually type data into spreadsheets, and 45% of those surveyed said their organisation hadn’t invested in finance software.
Jamie Lyon, Head of Corporate Sector at ACCA, said:
ACCA_logoIn the so called Age of the Customer, these findings are a compelling insight into missed opportunity.  For all the talk of digital yet again we see the reality of not squeezing that critical corporate asset – information – to drive return. The CFO function of the future has a key role to play in helping the enterprise better understand its most profitable channels and where to invest to drive return.  Yet finance can’t do this on its own – it’s an enterprise wide responsibility that is hugely dependant on better data governance, and better collaboration and operational alignment right across the business.