Clunky payment practices are costing the average UK business £88,725 per year, as employees waste 6,500 man hours chasing purchase order numbers, processing paper invoices and responding to supplier enquiries.
New analysis by Tungsten Network reveals that each week UK businesses spend an average of 55 hours doing manual, paper-based processes and checks; 39 hours chasing invoice exceptions, discrepancies and errors; 23 hours responding to supplier enquiries; 5 hours on compliance-related challenges, such as handling international taxes; and 3 hours tackling invoice fraud.
According to Tungsten Network’s inaugural Friction Index report, the top five sources of frustration are:
1 High proportion of paper invoices received;
2 Too many non-PO based invoices;
3 High volume of supplier enquiries relating to invoice or payment status;
4 Lack of automated exceptions;
5 Lack of automated approval.
Rick Hurwitz, CEO of Tungsten Network, said: “Numerous processes in the financial world remain cumbersome and time consuming when they needn’t be. Technology means we can do away with the tiresome and menial tasks that clog business work streams and instead boost productivity and efficiency. It is surprising that in this tech-enabled day and age businesses are still spending so many hours per week managing a process that could be automated.”
He added: “If businesses aren’t tied up chasing invoices or receiving phone calls from suppliers doing the same, they have more time to explore opportunities for growth with existing customers and go after new ones. If all the data from past invoices is easily accessible, opportunities to identify variances that will target inefficiencies are more visible. The technology exists to remove this supply chain friction, which can cause stress, waste time and ultimately impact the wider economy, and we want to challenge UK businesses to seize the day, embrace digitisation and begin enjoying the benefits of a frictionless back office.”