AvidXchange recently surveyed more than 500 U.S. business leaders ranging from middle management to C-level executives to learn about their challenges and priorities as they gear up for 2021.
Unfortunately, we weren’t all that surprised to learn 52 percent of those surveyed have experienced invoice processing delays during the pandemic. That same percentage (52 percent) said the process of securing payment approvals while working remotely was the biggest reason for those delays.
Naturally, these slowdowns lead to late payments, revenue declines and cost increases.
Other leading causes of invoice processing delays? The amount of regular mail and manual processes companies use:
- 34 percent of those surveyed receive most of their invoices and payments through the mail
- 39 percent still have someone in the office every day handling physical mail
- 27 percent rely on payment processes that aren’t fully electronic
Translation: There’s still plenty of paper used to process invoices and payments and it’s causing widespread inefficiencies.
FULL SURVEY RESULTS: Expert Insights for Peak Performance in 2021
Accounts payable software can help solve invoice processing issues
The good news is that accounts payable (AP) software can reduce the reliance on paper and accelerate invoice processing, approval and payments.
In fact, 46 percent of finance leaders expect at least half of AP and payment processes will go digital in 2021. Similarly, 62 percent expect at least half of all internal operations to become fully digital.
What’s motivating the digital push? The biggest factors, we found, are to tighten security and improve efficiency by providing more visibility into and control over cashflow.
Final thoughts – use AP software to cut invoice delays
What should a finance pro struggling with invoice delays do? Is investing in digital technologies such as AP automation the right move?
Here’s a great place to start: Review your invoice and payment problems to see how they are affecting your business from a financial, investment and strategic perspective. If the problem is too big to ignore, consider the benefits of shifting your business to digital and automating your AP processes. It’s bound to boost your relationships with customers, vendors and suppliers.
For more survey findings, go to the new report called Expert Insights for Peak Performance in 2021.