Companies in the Midlands are facing a significant information gap affecting key areas of their business, which could undermine short-term decision-making, according to experts in corporate reporting at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Midlands.

PwC said many businesses in the region are currently in the throes of taking business-critical decisions, which may require them to provide information to external stakeholders such as banks and regulators. Worryingly, some may be considering taking such decisions without adequate information, based on the findings of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ latest survey of UK CEOs.

Among the types of information that business leaders find most useful when making business decisions, the most important is information about risks (98 per cent), brand or reputation (97 per cent), customers’ needs and preferences (95 per cent), employees’ needs and strengths (92 per cent) and financial forecasts. Despite acknowledging that information about risks is most important when taking business decisions, only 32 per cent of CEOs described the information available to them as “comprehensive”.

To improve their corporate reporting, management teams need to start by identifying key stakeholders, assessing their needs and remaining alert to any changes that could affect the business, PwC said. They need to stay up-to-date with market conditions and keep business risks under review to ensure that the right information is available to decision-makers at short notice.

Richard Porter, partner and corporate reporting specialist at PwC in the Midlands, said: “It is worrying that business leaders in the Midlands could be about to take business critical decisions without adequate information and it is vital that they prioritise closing the information gap.

“In this turbulent climate, the ability to report clear information quickly and effectively, can make all the difference when seeking the support of external stakeholders such as shareholders, financiers, customers and suppliers. Without this, there is a risk that business leaders could be making decisions, which they may regret later.”