Finance departments ‘lacking digital change’

Written by Anthony Strzalek

Four out of five finance professionals have said that their department is not keeping pace with the rest of the organisation’s digital transformation plans, new research has shown.

The survey, which was conducted by Sapio Research and Wax Digital and polled 200 senior finance managers and over 100 IT professionals, suggests the lack of change is leaving them struggling with productivity, cost and efficiency issues.

IT which most commonly leads digital transformation said finance was the department with the greatest need to transform in the survey, although 45 per cent said finance team resistance was hindering this, while 39 per cent said an over reliance on manual processes was holding them back from going digital.

A total of 80 per cent of finance professionals admitted they’ve struggled to keep up with the business’ digital goals, with 66 per cent saying they are more paper reliant than other business functions, and 58 per cent unlikely to make decisions or manage approvals electronically.

On average, while two thirds of every financial process is automated or managed electronically, one third of the task still requires manual intervention. The manual work required for some processes can be up to 50 per cent.

Invoice management that is most in need of modernisation, with 66 per cent of supplier invoice data needing to be manually rekeyed and processed. A surprising nine per cent of invoices are still delivered by fax, while 19 per cent come though the post, 15 per cent are hand delivered, and 23 per cent arrive via email.

Daniel Ball, director at Wax Digital, said: “By their own admission and the opinions of those leading the digital cause, it’s clear that finance is lagging behind other departments when it comes to digital transformation but is in great need of change in areas such as how it manages its invoices.”