The digitisation of business services has been a global trend since the late nineties and as technologies have continued to advance the development of increasingly smart software can automate a business’ often labour-intensive processes. This has enabled companies to expand the reach and reliability of their services further than ever envisioned.
However, parts of the finance and accounting sector across the world have remained surprisingly resistant to the trend of digitisation. In the UK, HMRC began their ‘Making Tax Digital’ campaign to speed up the digitisation of finance processes in the majority of businesses. Their research showed that 25% of registrants utilise paper-based records, and a further 20% rely on traditional manual processes of managing their finances. So, why, in a digital age, are companies so resistant to digitisation? And at what cost?
There exists a fear of disruption which has been reportedly largely caused by poor integration of new technology into existing digital services, account departments overlooking the automation of simple processes, and a misunderstanding of AI. These issues have created a vacuum of progress that is costing businesses in more ways than one.
Critically for many, the risk of losing control of one’s finances to cybercrime remains a risk they are not prepared to take. For others, the balance between transparency and privacy are real causes for hesitation.
In 2019, procurement firm Ivalua analysed the potential cost of this hesitancy to a business. Their survey of two hundred procurement and finance professionals found that 31% of their labour time was spent on analogue processes that they believed could easily be streamlined by digitisation. They also discovered that the lack of digitisation prevented the automation of low-value tasks, such as invoicing. They estimated that the efficiency lost to retaining traditional processes rather than adopting simple digitisation services could cost companies upwards of £1.9m per year.
The COVID 19 pandemic has forced companies in the UK to not only adapt to an off-site work environment but to address the accessibility of their work through digital resources.
For our clients and other businesses with already digitised accounting and finance processes, their services are easily accessed through cloud-based applications utilised off-site and remotely by both staff and clients alike.
Businesses that have resisted digitisation have not been prepared for this unforeseen challenge and the cost of stalling has been made more apparent than ever. Issues can include:
The pandemic has thrown into stark relief the necessity for companies to digitise their accounting and finance needs, which is where outsourcing can be the ideal solution.
The authors of COVID-19 and Brexit: Real-time updates on business performance in the United Kingdom published by the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) in July 2020, has found that businesses such as airlines, restaurants, hotels and arts and entertainment have been hit hardest by the pandemic as they typically rely on face-to-face human interaction.
A way to minimise some of the damage done to these industries is to embrace technology where possible, one aspect of this could be fully automating and digitising their financial and accounting processes.
The report also considers the possible impact of Brexit, predicting that specific industries such as Electrical and Optical Equipment, and Chemicals and Chemical Products, protected from the worst effects of COVID 19 will likely be affected by the predicted impact of increased trade barriers with the EU. We have also examined the changes that Brexit may bring to our attention.
IMS Decimal provides Outsourced Accounting and Financial Services to clients across a multitude of industries. We are a part of IMS Group, a Global Workforce Solutions company working with more than 160 clients predominantly in the USA, UK and Anz regions. We provide a wide range of Outsourced Accounting and Financial Services and, we understand the daily administrative and accounting pressures that businesses can face. Whether it be unexpected fluctuations in the market, such as the uncertainty caused by COVID 19, increasing competition that Brexit could bring about, or the need to manage large-scale projects, it can be a delicate balancing act. We help our clients to navigate these issues and concentrate on growing their businesses. Each of our accountants and finance professionals is trained in specific areas of accounting and financial services enabling us to provide effective, all-encompassing accounting service solutions where our attention to detail ensures each task is delivered with care and accuracy.
We can be your outsourcing partners: we can work with your employees remotely, and we adapt to your method of working. We have teams of certified finance professionals and accountants who are trained and experienced in industry-standard applications such as Quickbooks, Xero and other software expanded upon here.
If you would like to discuss how one of our accountants or finance professionals can assist you and your company, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +44 203 878 3559