AvidXchange, which works in accounts payable and payment solutions, polled 500 U.S. business and found a gap in the processes needed to enable people to get paid during the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, if finance staff could work from home, only about 54 percent of businesses would be able to make every payment. Only some of them would be able to process invoices the same.
AvidXchange found about 60 percent do have some kind of contingency plan in place, though.
Angelic Gibson, chief information officer at AvidXchange, said businesses would have to be prepared for what is coming, including new technological advances like automating the payment systems. Gibson said the companies needed to consider every avenue of business, including access to laptops and company networks, and how payments will be handled during the unconventional times.
They'll have to come around to new ways, Gibson said, so payments can continue to flow as if things were still normal.
The research ultimately underscored the problems in many businesses' planning efforts for events such as the virus pandemic. The lack of planning in many businesses could cause cash flow disruption as more than 40 percent of businesses would end up paying late if employees have to work from home — a likely proposition for many companies as social distancing has been recommended.
Twelve percent of businesses said all their payments would be late under those circumstances. Only one in five businesses would be able to manage payments normally, according to AvidXchange's research.
The coronavirus has massively upended the world's employment sphere, and tens of millions could end up unemployed, according to the International Labour Organization.
Some companies, like Darden Restaurants, have begun to implement safeguards, trying to distribute emergency pay to employees.