By Daniel Ball, director at Wax Digital
It’s not surprising that finance departments and CFOs are under pressure. Global economic uncertainty is causing even the most solvent organisations to tighten their belts and increase productivity across the board. Finance departments are facing cost freezes at the same time as being asked to provide more data and analytics, protect against cyber threats and find solutions to incorporating blockchain currencies.
How much difference can eInvoicing make?
According to the latest research from eProcurement provider, Wax Digital, rolling out eInvoicing technology to make payment processes easier could be the key to increasing productivity and improving morale. The survey of 200 UK finance professionals suggests that there is a credible evidence for finance directors to be actively campaigning for eInvoicing – with 82% of respondents saying that poor invoice process management was impacting their teams’ ability to perform effectively and leading to low job satisfaction.
Staff morale figures
60% of finance professionals say that processing supplier invoices is the most hated aspect of the job amongst their team – 70% find it tedious and it causes frustration for 69%. Manual processing has become the bane of many finance workers’ lives. Over a third of teams worry about manual process errors and their colleagues leaving because they are so frustrated by outdated systems. Finance teams feel left behind. They see other areas of the business benefiting from digital transformation and their process-based problems dismissed as ‘niggles’ that are part of the job.
Getting it right
Over half of the finance experts surveyed have to deal with invoices that have incorrect financial values. 37% reported wrong or missing PO numbers and 34% said missing VAT numbers are a frequent bugbear. It takes time to individually identify this kind of frequent and reoccurring mistake – time that could be spent on dealing with more strategic development and security issues if eInvoicing was in place. 99% of respondents can see opportunities to reallocate personnel who are manually processing invoices to more strategic tasks such as cost management and spend reporting activities to make business processes more efficient.
Team buy in for eInvoicing
The good news is that 97% of finance teams believe that automated invoice processing or eInvoicing would improve their team’s job fulfilment, not to mention the positive impact on supplier relationships if by avoiding mistakes that are missed through human error. The fact that so many finance teams believe that they are not meeting their full potential should raise productivity alarm bells for UK organisations. Automating invoice management processes can rid the finance team of a complex and time-consuming task, improving team motivation and personal performance as well as helping with organisational efficiency.
Working it out
Invoice automation could save finance teams between £25 to £40 per order. The overall impact of eInvoicing could be huge – not just for reducing department spend but improving the morale of the people who keep it going every day. It’s time to move away from expecting finance departments to work through problems with manual invoicing as ‘part of the job’ and implement systems which enable them to be part of the team’s financial strategy for the future.