What is the Value of Accurate Exchange Rates Data?

Accurate currency exchange rates data is one of several vital resources that no global business in the modern age should dare be without.

For chief financial officers (CFO), treasurers and comptrollers, the importance of having access to trusted global daily currency exchange rate data to close the financial books cannot be understated. Indeed, the audit and reputational risk of cutting corners in this area is so great as to be unacceptable.

Fortunately, technology advances are facilitating data accuracy. At the same time, according to a report produced jointly by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) entitled, ‘Digital Darwinism: thriving in the face of technology change,’ technological advancement is putting additional pressure on the demand for new skills and competencies from CFOs and their staff.

Foreign exchange (FX) data services, such as those offered by OANDA and its peers, automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, streamline complex business processes, replace human interaction with machine-to-machine and person-to-machine interaction, and help to reshape business models to facilitate better decision-making. These services are delivered in a range of formats that are compatible with most enterprise resource planning (ERP) and finance systems.

An authoritative FX data source should be able to provide financial professionals with the following:

  •  Automated currency data, with no human intervention, published daily for an extensive range of currency pairs.
  •  Accurate, historical data dating back many years and based on actual tradable currency prices.
  •  A reliable data feed that is set-up once and left to operate autonomously.

Be an Agent of Change

In general, the accountancy profession tends to be positioned to significantly influence corporate decisions on the adoption of new technologies. While the ability to wield influence over decision-making may shift over time depending on a multitude of factors, one area the financial function will continue to have direct input on is accounting itself.

For decades, CFOs and comptrollers have used emerging technologies to help them produce the most accurate results. However if your organisation is not using the same, reliable data that the world’s largest accounting firms use, now is the time to be the agent of change that your organisation needs you to be.

Interestingly, the most recent annual survey of senior-level finance professionals produced by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) found that 84% of respondents agreed that corporate treasury’s role has expanded in the past five years, while 83% believed that the role will continue to expand over the next five. That role is tightly linked to efficient handling of cash management and corporate liquidity, the report stated.

In our lingering, uncertain global economy, the AFP white paper emphasises the need to ensure that financial professionals provide their company’s stakeholders with the best FX data available. At the same time they and their finance teams can enjoy peace of mind by ensuring they have the functional data they require to book daily international transactions, do month-end reporting, and avoid the pain and embarrassment of restatement.


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