Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » UK finance teams want less admin – more time for strategy

FINANCE TEAMS are spending almost a day a week on general admin tasks, leaving less time for strategic thinking, a new study has found.

The research by Concur, an invoice management company, found that 74% of the 500 finance leaders interviewed said their role was more reactive than proactive, and that they wanted more systems automated.

UK finance teams want to prioritise activities that have the biggest immediate impact on their business such as managing cash flow with more than two-thirds of those interviewed saying it was their most important job. Compliance with HMRC regulations, budgeting and increasing revenue also ranked highly.

Many respondents said the finance team still relied on manual processes. Just over a third said their expenses process was still manual. Payroll was slightly more advanced, with over half saying they had an automated system to pay staff and suppliers.

“Amidst a backdrop where finance is increasingly expected to perform a more strategic role, mundane tasks are robbing the team of time that could be better spent planning for future growth. Given the important role the finance department plays within an organisation time is, in every sense of the word, money. By failing to ensure finance teams are working at maximum efficiency, businesses are losing out,” said Chris Baker, MD of UK Enterprise, Concur.