Our recent study, has revealed that a significant number (33%) of finance professionals in the UK struggle to effectively forecast due to a lack of necessary tools.
The research uncovered that a third of finance professionals do not have access to the tools they need to gain a clear insight into their financial resilience. The study, which surveyed over 1000 accounting professionals, further revealed that 13% of those surveyed reported using outdated tools, while 1 in 10 faced a lack of funding for financial tools.
Additionally, 9% simply didn’t trust their current tools for forecasting. With the current economic climate becoming increasingly complex, it is more important than ever for organisations to rely on accurate forecasting tools. Using inaccurate tools could ultimately do more harm than good, so it’s crucial for finance professionals to have access to the right tools.
During critical periods, such as a recession, over half (54%) of accountancy professionals and 55% of in-house finance professionals struggle to access data as quickly as they need it.
A recent study by Xledger found that the majority (60%) of respondents who had adopted cloud computing were able to access data ‘very quickly’, while the majority (69%) of those who hadn’t adopted cloud computing said that they can only access data slowly.
Ian Halliwell, Marketing and Sales Director comments:
“Slow data analysis is a sign that the finance team is relying on outdated technologies, and it can even quickly lead to inaccuracies. Clearly, there is a need to create efficiencies in this area for many organisations.
“Financial analysis needs to be done at speed and information needs to be readily available. But how can they be expected to do so, when they do not have the right tools for the job, or the tools they do have, they have no faith in?”
As per the research, it is evident that a majority (53%) of finance professionals are feeling the burden of rising costs, are finding it’s causing them to lose focus on bigger picture and strategic activities. Along with this, 34% of respondents reported technology issues and the same number of people cited high staff turnover as a major distraction from their daily tasks.
When it comes to their future concerns, a significant number (43%) of finance professionals are worried about revenue and growth, followed by staff retention (26%) and cash flow (25%). It is quite interesting to note that those who haven’t yet adopted cloud or data analytics expressed more concern regarding cash flow (around a third of respondents).
Many finance professionals believe digitisation could aid their organisation during a recession, with 75% of in-house professionals and 72% of accountants sharing this view.
However, some accountants (21%) worry about the potential cost of starting a digital transformation project. It’s important to weigh all factors before deciding whether to digitise an organisation, especially during times of economic uncertainty.
Ian adds; “CFOs and their teams are now called upon to provide meaningful context around business performance to senior leaders and stakeholders.
“Our research demonstrates that very few organisations are yet to fully digitise their finance functions and integrate technologies and strategies that enable them and their colleagues to deliver value in a digital age. In fact, the vast majority of respondents are still ill or un-equipped to accurately forecast to the level they need to in the modern working environment.
“As the UK heads further into a period of economic uncertainty, without clear insight into financial resilience and financial variables, many organisations could struggle to weather the storm.”
Xledger is a leading true-cloud finance solution for accountancy practices and mid-market organisations with ambition. With a suite of automation features including OCR, purchase to pay, reoccurring and professional services billing and in-system payment processes, its value is giving back time to accountants, CFO’s and their finance departments, allowing them to spend more time on higher value-added activities.
This study was conducted among 514 accountants and 500 in-house finance professionals in the UK during April 2023 by CensusWide. If you would like to sign up to receive the full research insights when published click here.
If you would like to find out more about Xledger:
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