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Technology Top of Mind for Financial Executives

Survey Finds Cyber Security and Mandate Concerns Grow


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Cyber Security a Growing Concern;
Companies Taking a ‘Watch-And-Wait’ Stance Toward Blockchain

Technology -- keeping pace with change, preventing cyber breaches or investing in emerging tools, such as blockchain -- remains top of mind for corporate financial executives, according to a new survey by U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, KPMG LLP.

The survey of 575 attendees at the KPMG 28th Annual Accounting & Financial Reporting Symposium found:

  • Cyber security risks kept more than 25 percent of financial executives up at night, an increase from 22 percent in 2017;
  • Forty-four percent said they are more concerned about cyber security now than they were a year earlier, when 97 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about it, and,
  • As much as 70 percent of the respondents are investing in new technology to meet financial reporting requirements.

“Advancing technologies continue to change how the finance and audit functions conduct business,” said Harry Argires, KPMG National Managing Partner - Audit Operations. “Most companies realize that keeping pace with new technologies is crucial to their success, evidenced by their ongoing investments to enhance financial reporting and reduce cyber risks.”


The symposium, held Nov. 29-30 in Las Vegas, has grown into one of the most popular events for financial reporting professionals, offering a well-rounded mix of sessions on timely and critical topics that corporate financial reporting executives need to perform their roles. Sessions include discussions of developments at the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as a focus on financial leadership and innovative change.

Some 46 percent of the executives surveyed said they are carefully monitoring the marketplace to determine if blockchain makes sense for their company. Only 2 percent are using blockchain currently, and 41 percent said they don’t think blockchain technology will impact their business.

Other findings from the symposium survey:

  • Future regulatory mandates re-emerged as a leading concern, behind cyber security. Some 22 percent of those surveyed said they were concerned about the potential for new regulatory mandates, an increase from 19 percent in 2017;
  • More than a third (39 percent) said including Critical Audit Matters (CAMs) in the Auditor’s report will help offer new insights into their company, up slightly from 33 percent in 2017, and,
  • As many as 85 percent have begun the process to adopt the new lease accounting standard; 4 percent of the respondents said their company has completed the implementation. That compares to 34 percent and 1 percent, respectively, last year.

The 29th Annual Accounting and Financial Reporting Symposium
KPMG LLP’s 29th Annual Accounting and Financial Reporting Symposium will be held November 21-22, 2019 in Las Vegas. The symposium – one of the accounting profession’s premier conferences on issues and actionable information - offers a well-rounded mix of sessions on timely and critical topics, including developments from the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Securities and Exchange Commission; implementation of new accounting standards; cybersecurity; data and analytics; International Financial Reporting Standards; and internal controls, as well as a focus on financial leadership and innovative change.

About KPMG Executive Education

From basic and advanced technical accounting courses and seminars for CPE credit to in-depth conferences, KPMG Executive Education provides a range of effective continuing education learning experiences for corporate executives and their staffs in the accounting, finance, and business management professions. To learn more, and find registration information for the Annual Accounting and Financial Reporting Symposium, go to


KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Learn more at


Elizabeth Lynch

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