In collaboration with consulting and audit firm PwC France and Maghreb, Sidetrade, the global leader in AI-powered Order-to-Cash applications, sheds light on the challenges faced by companies that fail to prioritize financial transformation projects.
In the current economic landscape, marked by unpredictability due to persistent inflationary pressures and a shortage of qualified talent, businesses are facing cash flow challenges. However, they have the opportunity to enhance their financial resilience and productivity through technological innovation.
Sidetrade has undertaken a survey in partnership with PwC France and Maghreb to explore the dynamics of corporate finance, with a specific focus on digital transformation. This exclusive study, titled ‘Cash Maturity 2023’, captures the insights of companies and gathers valuable perspectives on the implementation of financial transformation projects across the globe.
PwC France and Maghreb Partner Arthur Wastyn said: “In the current context, the imperative to enhance productivity takes center stage for organizations. Escalating costs and the demand for operational efficiency only serve to underscore the significance of optimizing Order-to-Cash processes. The Cash Maturity 2023 study provides leaders with valuable insights into the specific challenges and untapped potential related to the financial function transformation. Current technologies have reached a level of maturity that allows for tangible short and medium-term gains. Waiting too long to adopt these technologies now carries the risk of being caught off guard by the market.
Key findings of the Cash Maturity 2023 study:
- Despite the widespread recognition of financial transformation projects as a crucial element of modern business strategy, there’s a notable reluctance to allocate the necessary financial resources, which hinders performance. While an impressive 88% of companies have either initiated or are considering finance transformation projects, only 54% are contemplating increased investments in the next 12 months.
- Consequently, this cautious budgeting approach perpetuates inefficiencies and non-value-added tasks within finance teams. Surprisingly, 36% of the workforce dedicates time to activities that could easily be automated, such as order entry, invoicing, payment capture or matching.
- What’s even more noteworthy is that over two thirds (69%) of companies openly admit to not fully capitalizing on their data assets. Instead, they opt for ad hoc analysis, historical reporting, or, in some cases, neglect data analysis altogether.
- HR strategy, essential to support financial transformation, focuses primarily on skills outsourcing, accounting for 52% of investments. However, it is crucial to recognize that this outsourcing carries a potential risk for the sustainability of the changes underway. Technological transformation cannot be successfully achieved without the contribution employees within the company, as they are the guarantors of the project’s success and the sustainability of the benefits obtained.
Commenting on the study’s findings, Sidetrade Partner Jean-Claude Charpenet said: It’s time for financial leaders to choose: inertia is now synonymous with imminent disruption. By fully exploiting mature technologies, financial transformation projects can deliver powerful results in the short and medium term. However, our analysis reveals a critical under-exploitation of data and artificial intelligence, hampering the optimization and securing of cash flow. What’s more, many simple automation opportunities remain untapped. Real-time data is positioning itself as the central pillar of financial excellence, driving innovation, operational efficiency and proactive risk management.
The complete Cash Maturity 2023 study can be accessed here.
The study Cash Maturity 2023 was collaboratively conducted by PwC France et Maghreb and Sidetrade during the second quarter of 2023.
The research encompassed responses from a carefully selected sample of 172 companies, representing a diverse spectrum of functions, including Finance Departments, General Management, and key operational roles such as CFOs and Shared Services Center Directors.
To ensure the robustness of our findings, it intentionally designed the survey sample to be highly heterogeneous, encompassing companies of varying sizes, from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to large corporations, and spanning across a multitude of industry sectors.
This methodological approach was undertaken to provide a comprehensive and representative analysis of the finance transformation landscape, offering insights that cater to a wide range of organizations.