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New Survey Results: Finance Professionals Are Stressed and Turning to New Technologies to Help

July 7, 2020
businesswoman looking stressed while working late in the office

The pandemic has changed the way we all live and work.

Needless to say, it’s been tough to adjust to our new routines and irregular schedules, and to deal with not having access to the tools needed to maintain operations.

That’s why we checked in with senior finance executives at more than 500 U.S. businesses to see how they’re holding up and what could make their work life better.

We asked them how the pandemic has impacted their overall wellbeing and balance.

We asked them, too, about advanced technologies, like automation, and whether they have implemented them to reduce stress and increase efficiencies. And, if so, how are they working out?

Here’s what they told us:

Rest? Who Has Time for That?

It likely comes as no surprise that 66 percent of finance professionals—from middle managers to CFOs—have higher stress levels due to the impacts of the pandemic.

survey question results showing how finance leaders' stress levels have increased during COVID-19

While many are working from home, and therefore, avoiding lengthy commutes that once chipped away at their free time, their workdays are longer than they used to be.

Sixty percent have worked longer hours, lost sleep due to stress or have had sleep interrupted by work calls or emails.

survery question results showing finance leaders have worked longer hours and had sleep interrupted by work communications during COVID-19

Regarding PTO, for 80 percent it’s a distant memory.

survey question results showing the majority of finance leaders have canceled paid time off during COVID-19

Technology Helps Reduce Rising Stress

When the pandemic first hit, many organizations were operating without continuity plans or from plans that didn’t account for the technology they would need to sustain the business.

Now, four months in, three out of four businesses have implemented at least one new technology or system to enable work, reduce pressures and provide agility as they navigate a rapidly changing work environment.

survey question results showing the majority of finance leaders' companies have implemented new technology systems since the onset of COVID-19

For those who haven’t yet amped up their tech stack, 78 percent agree new automation and technology would help to further reduce rising stress levels.

survey question results showing majority of finance leaders believe new technology would make work easier for their teams during COVID-19 and beyond

Eighty-four percent also believe emerging technologies would help them work more efficiently, now and after the pandemic.

survey question results indicating majority of finance leaders agree new technology like AP automation would reduce their stress levels during COVID-19 and in the future

Uncovering a Critical Disconnect

What good is technology if it can’t work well with others? Turns out, not so good.

Our research discovered that new tech solutions aren’t necessarily merging with the rest of the finance team’s tech stack. Only 35 percent of businesses are leveraging fully integrated systems to manage their financials.

survey question results showing a majority of finance leaders whose companies use new technology use disparate systems that don't communicate with each other

More than 75 percent of finance teams are relying on at least two, and sometimes four or more different applications, to govern critical day-to-day processes. The juggle to manage these disparate systems can take a significant toll on their efficiency and productivity.

Teams are learning that ensuring connectivity between solutions is key to simplifying processes, reducing costs, and keeping data free-flowing for better visibility and smarter decision making.

Want to learn more about how integrating emerging technologies like AP automation can help your team deal with the stresses of disparate systems and manual payment processes?

Check out AvidXchange’s suite of AP and payment automation software solutions or schedule a demo with us today!

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