In its report B2B Payments: 2015 Australia and New Zealand Research, Deloitte surveyed 150 medium and large organisations operating in the two countries in an attempt to better understand the trends and consensus towards digital payments.
Richard Miller, payments director with Deloitte, noted that many firms are failing to incorporate systems “holistically in a way that cut across their whole process”.
“I think companies should focus on end-to-end process improvement rather than just focusing on a single step. Payment platforms and virtual or digital accounts all help digitize the whole process, taking paper out of it, making considerably more data available, giving better visibility to cash flow,” he said.
Mr Miller identified several key trends that have resulted in 47 per cent of the surveyed firms failing to use the available solutions.
“There is a limited understanding of the benefits, in particular in terms of how you can improve your cash flow and the working capital benefit. It’s not easy to digitize processes, especially in a function that is perceived by many organisations as not core to the business,” he added.
The concept of a “legacy” process is something that Mr Miller makes particular note of; old-fashioned systems ingrained in business operations, adding that 100 per cent of surveyed organisations still had paper processes in place to support cheque payments.
Mr Miller concluded by urging organisations to keep their minds open in approaching new payment systems.
“A company might invest in improving their production processes by two per cent, but what we’re arguing is that there’s an opportunity here to improve your finance processes by three, four, even 10 per cent, depending on how much legacy you’re dealing with,” he said.