Hong Kong Has a Financial Data Problem

There is a crisis of confidence in Hong Kong when it comes to financial data accuracy.

A new survey by BlackLine noted that 55 percent of global respondents and 26 percent of Hong Kong respondents are not confident that the financial information will not have data errors.

The survey, conducted by independent global research firm Censuswide for BlackLine, asked the opinions of over 1,100 C-suite executives and finance professionals in large and midsize organizations across the world. It also surveyed 50 C-level and 50 finance professionals in Hong Kong from companies earning a minimum revenue of HKD$140 million.

The aim was to find out the confidence levels in financial data. The results were dismal.

Respondents noted that there is a disconnect between C-level executives and finance professionals when it comes to financial data accuracy. While 34 percent of C-suite respondents claimed to trust the accuracy of their financial data completely, only 22 percent of finance professionals said the same. Globally, a higher percentage of 54 percent of respondents claim to trust the accuracy of their financial data completely.

More telling, though, is that 76 percent of respondents in Hong Kong believed that their respective companies made decisions based on inaccurate data. Forty-one percent noted that it was a problem that remained hidden, stating that they knew these errors existed but had no visibility of them. 

While inaccurate financial data have always plagued companies, it becomes especially crucial when companies begin to drive data-centric decisions. Based on the survey, Hong Kong companies will continue to be challenged by human errors, increasing data volumes and outdated technology.

“It is concerning that so many organizations are not confident in their ability to identify errors and ensure accurate reporting,” said Mario Spanicciati, chief strategy officer at BlackLine. 

"The high profile misreporting scandals we see in the news could be just the tip of a larger financial inaccuracy iceberg. It seems clear that not only are reporting errors prevalent but that many of these inaccuracies remain hidden below the surface. There is no longer any excuse for not having full visibility into accurate numbers from which to report and drive the business forward,” added Spanicciati.