Finance departments are failing to digitise documents, a survey has claimed, with many mistakenly believing that auditors prefer a paper trail.
A survey by Redshift Research on behalf of Eclipse Group of 200 decision makers at financial organisations showed that only a third of documents are being scanned, despite 88 percent of respondents indicating they intend to do so.
The surveys shows that almost half of all purchase and sales invoices are still paper-based, with 46 percent of companies still manually re-typing purchase invoices into an accounting system. Furthermore 35 percent still have to physically move invoices around the organisation for approval.
However less than half of respondents are intending to invest in an electronic document management system to bring about improvements such as greater efficiency.
One of the reasons for the reluctance to scan documents is data loss, with 34 percent citing this as a barrier.
A third of respondents also believe that auditors require paper documents, despite Eclipse Group claiming that the use of scanning solutions has been approved by HMRC, with real-time search reducing time and costs.
Gary Waylett, CEO of the Eclipse Group, said: “The majority of organisations are already scanning some documents as they arrive in the building, so why not extend the model and take a strategic approach?
“Removing the most labour intensive element of the finance process, namely the handling of in-bound and out-bound paper invoices, not only delivers immediate cost savings but provides a raft of opportunities to drive further benefits – from improving payment timescales to eProcurement.”
“It is time to stop this half-hearted, somewhat haphazard approach to document scanning – and to address incorrect assumptions about EDMS.
He added: “From a possible 90 percent reduction in invoice processing time, to meeting new payment regulation, effective management of electronic documentation is the key to realising the goal of finance automation.”
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