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UK Finance Departments Shown Struggling To Innovate

New research, commissioned by Invu, has shown that finance departments across the UK are failing to keep up with the times, particularly when it comes to paper-based processes and hybrid working.

The majority of UK Finance decision-makers (85%) have admitted to having an accounts payable process that sometimes requires supplier invoices to still be printed out, even though they have been sent via email.

The research also highlights an over-reliance on paper-based processes:

  • A third of UK Finance decision-makers (33%) always print off invoices received by email
  • Another third either frequently (10%) or sometimes (22%) print off invoices received by email
  • Only the final third rarely (19%) or never (15%) print off invoices received by email.

The results have been published as part of a wider independent research report, titled “The Covid-19 stress test for business: an accelerator for change”, commissioned by document management, accounts payable and purchasing solutions provider, Invu.

Speaking of the results and the challenges businesses have faced, Ian Smith, GM and Finance Director at Invu, said: “These results show that a significant proportion of businesses are failing to innovate and struggle with hybrid working. The continuing dependency of many UK Finance departments of paper-based processes raises questions as to whether they are able to fully embrace new ways of working and attract the best staff.”

There’s also plenty of room in the purchasing process for innovation, with 14% of businesses revealing that their current purchasing process is broken and needs fixing as a matter of priority, and a further 39% considering investing in software to make improvements.

Smith concludes, “The digital transformation of the purchasing and accounts payable processes has made some progress since we last reported, however, our latest research shows that many finance departments still need to embrace ways of transforming their processes to facilitate worker mobility and productivity.”


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