BILL.COM CFO SURVEY FINDS THAT MOVING FINANCIAL PROCESSES TO THE CLOUD CUTS WORKLOAD IN HALF, SLASHES COSTS UP TO 70 PERCENT
Also Uncovers That Most CFOs Are Unaware of Money Wasted On Paying Bills
PALO ALTO, CALIF. — Oct. 15, 2012 — Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash management solutions for businesses, today announced the results of its survey of more than 350 CFOs,revealing that when financial executives adopt the cloud they quickly realize significant financial benefits to their busineses. However, despite increasing awareness of the cloud, financial professionals still lag behind other department leaders in making the move to the cloud. Full survey results are available in the free whitepaper “For Clarity, CFOs Look to the Cloud,” which can be downloaded from http://cashflow.bill.com/cfo_whitepaper.html.
The survey is one of the first to provide insight into how CFOs are thinking about cloud-based financial systems, whether they plan to implement the systems, and what they see as both the advantages and disadvantages of online tools for managing tasks like accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash flow. The report finds that while CFOs are aware that other departments are moving to the cloud, few realize that similar solutions exist for the finance department. However, for early adopters, saving money and time are significant motivating factors for companies that are considering a cloud-based system, with 65.2% of survey respondents saying that saving dollars and staff hours would lead them to the cloud.
In addition, when asked how much it costs their organization to process and send an invoice, 38.7% of respondents said under $5 and 32.2% said $5 to $10. In fact, the majority of respondents are likely underestimating the cost because they’re not fully factoring in the price of labor, materials, and other inputs. According to industry standards, the average cost of processing an invoice is actually over $22. In terms of hard numbers, a small company sending an average of 100 invoices a month would cut their expenses from $2200 to $750 per month by using the cloud, according to separate research conducted by Bill.com.
Still, many CFOs remain stuck in the past, continuing to rely on paper-based processes and Excel spreadsheets to do their work, missing the opportunity to realize time and cost savings by embracing the cloud. Indeed, when asked what system they currently use to predict future cash flow, 72.9% of respondents said they still use their old Excel spreadsheets, 8.5% use an ERP system, and 8.3% said they just do the calculations in their head. The remaining 10.3% said they don’t use any tools at all, according to the survey.
CFOs’ frustration with this status quo was clearly expressed in the Bill.com survey. When asked to name the top three challenges faced by CFOs today, respondents cited the inability to forecast results (51.1%) and manage cash flow (47.4%) as their most pressing concerns. These numbers indicate that financial executives could greatly benefit from tools that provide real-time visibility into the amount of money they’re paying out and taking in, at any given moment.
Some additional findings from the survey include:
- 16.5% of financial executives said that, as far as they know, cash flow management tools and systems are nonexistent in the market; 22% said they know the tools exist but their company doesn’t use them.
- When asked what they think are the biggest challenges in moving to a cloud environment, 64.1% of survey respondents said integration with existing systems, 54.7% said system and network security, and 43.6% said introducing a new process.
- Financial executives are discovering that by putting their AP process in the cloud, they can cut their work by more than half and slash the cost by 50% to 70%, a saving that amounts to tens of thousands of dollars for many organizations.
- Another incentive for moving to the cloud is the chance to reduce the flow of paper bills and transition to a paperless work environment. The vast majority of survey respondents (85.5%) said reducing paper was either very important or somewhat important to them. Only 14.5% said it was not important at all.
According to the survey, these results show cloud-based tools, especially those for cash flow management, are still emergent in the marketplace. For early adopting CFOs, deploying tools that are on the brink of changing the financial industry will give them a competitive advantage as they leapfrog past other companies, due to their increased efficiency, effectiveness, and cost-savings.
“Early adopters who have switched to cloud-based financial systems told Bill.com they have greatly improved both their accounts payable and accounts receivable processes,” said René Lacerte, founder and CEO of Bill.com. “We are gratified to see financial professionals take advantage of all the savings and efficiencies that only the cloud can bring.”
Bill.com delivers a complete cloud-based financial solution for businesses and accountants that provides the tools, information and collaboration required to better manage their financial tasks and optimize cash flow. Bill.com’s cash flow command and control system is the only solution that connects users’ banks, books, and businesses, enabling companies of all sizes to finally rid themselves of the cumbersome, error-prone, and highly manual spreadsheets that have plagued finance for decades. Combined with Bill.com’s cloud-based AP and AR systems, it offers the first full picture of a business’s complete cash flow system and empowers finance leaders to get paid 2 to 3 times faster and save over 50% of the time spent paying bills – all with unprecedented control, precision, and security.