Two years of pandemic-induced disruptions to business operations have forced chief financial officers (CFOs) at many companies to look for ways to improve their management of costs and cash flows. Many hastened their implementation of digitized payments processes as a result. PYMNTS’ research shows that these executives can now confidently say they improved the management of their balance sheets, have better control of accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) processes and can better supervise their investments in assets.
Many CFOs from finance and insurance companies say payments digitization is a way to help transform how their companies run and reposition themselves to strengthen their ties with customers and suppliers.
These are a few of the key findings in Business Payments Digitization: How Financial and Healthcare CFOs Build Healthier Balance Sheets, a PYMNTS and Corcentric collaboration. We surveyed CFOs of 400 companies from Aug. 16 through Sept. 15, 2021, to gather insights about how the pandemic affected the management of their payment functions and how it prompted some to enact plans or accelerate the implementation of existing projects to digitize their payment functions.
Some additional key findings include:
• Seventy-one percent of finance and insurance company CFOs and 64% of healthcare and medical business CFOs say digitization is a “very” or “extremely” important strategy to improve management of their balance sheets. This illustrates the extent to which businesses in these industries are seeking improvements in their ability to manage financial operations.
• Forty-eight percent of firms in the finance, insurance, healthcare and medical industries say they accelerated the digitization of payment processes and systems following the start of the pandemic to improve their balance sheet management. Digitizing payment processes has been a trend for several years for many industries, but companies quickened their efforts during the pandemic to get a better handle on their cash flow and AP/AR processes amid economic disruptions.
• Seventy-eight percent of finance and insurance companies’ CFOs and 65% of healthcare and medical company CFOs say digitization is about transforming their payments and financial processes. These CFOs expect digital transformation to help them plan and execute their business goals more strategically. Digitized payments processes can significantly change a company by improving its operational efficiency and its relationships with customers and suppliers.
As a result of their efforts to digitize their payments processes, CFOs report realizing improved operational efficiency and better collaboration among employees throughout their organizations. These benefits are crucial as executives and their companies find themselves at an inflection point where they can position themselves for long-term changes to the economy, which have already included a higher proportion of the workforce working remotely and a dramatic increase in online commerce.
Digitization, which most CFOs consider to be transformational in nature, helps companies be more responsive to changes in the marketplace. Those that are most nimble and able to adapt to these changes will be best positioned to execute strategies that consider new economic realities.
To learn more about how companies from a wide range of industries are using payments digitization to transform their operations, download the report.