Wednesday 27 March 2019 12:01 am

Losing out: British finance bosses leaking £6.7bn a year by failing to update accounting systems


City A.M’s industry and manufacturing correspondent. You can follow me on @alexmdaniel, or email: alex.daniel@cityam.com

City A.M’s industry and manufacturing correspondent. You can follow me on @alexmdaniel, or email: alex.daniel@cityam.com

Follow Alex Daniel

Outdated accounting systems which prevent British companies taking advantage of early payment discounts are costing them £6.7bn a year, according to research.

More than one-fifth of finance bosses (22 per cent) surveyed by Opinium believe their accounting software is out of date, while 16 per cent said it did not allow them to use early payment discounts.

Read more: Contactless card payments rise with transaction limit set to increase

Many suppliers now provide pre-agreed discounts for paying before their standard payment terms – a model which already saves companies £14.4bn a year, around £75,389 per business, according to modelling by Barclaycard.

Marc Pettican, managing director of Barclaycar’s commercial payments division, said finance bosses have a “critical responsibility of driving growth by optimising their business’ financial performance.”

“Our research shows that CFOs that embrace technology not only achieve tangible savings for their organisation, they also streamline business processes and paperwork, even when faced with resistance to change.”

The research continued that 40 per cent of finance chiefs that have not invested in their accounting software in the past five years cited ‘resistance to change’ as one of the main reasons.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent said they would like more automation while 32 per cent said they would like to add functionality that automatically matches supplier invoices against purchase orders.

Read more: UK to remain part of key euro payments system even in a no-deal Brexit

Barclaycard, which also compiled the report, identified four different types of chief financial officers, ranked by their willingness to embrace innovation.


The most reluctant, labelled “conformists”, were found to be missing out on an average of £62,250 each per year. The most open to change, labelled “trailblazers”, were only missing out on an average of £1,705 a year.

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