Over half of CFOs frustrated by complex accounting systems

  • Research from Barclaycard has identified that over half of finance leaders believe their accounting systems are not intuitive enough
  • Seven in ten CFOs would rather invest in IT and technology systems that are easier to use than those that have more advanced functionality
  • More than three in four finance decision-makers say they have insufficient time and resources to find the best accounting solution for their business

New research from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, has identified that 51 per cent of finance leaders are frustrated that their accounting software is not intuitive enough.

With increased pressure on margins for finance and resourcing, finance leaders have identified inefficiencies in their accounting systems, with nearly half (48 per cent) frustrated that their current system is not sufficiently digitised, and four in ten (40 per cent) stating that it is too labour intensive.

What businesses want

Despite the frustrations, 85 per cent of CFOs agree that they need to continue investing in their accounting systems. When looking ahead to their next upgrade, 44 per cent cite a need for more automation, and a third (34 per cent) are looking for a more integrated solution.

As they evaluate their options, CFOs are looking for technology to simplify the accounting process, rather than add additional complexity, with almost three quarters (73 per cent) believing it’s better to invest in technology that is easier to use than something with more advanced functionality.

Barriers to upgrading

The research highlighted that it’s important for CFOs to feel confident that they’ve made the right choice before upgrading, with 77 per cent agreeing that it’s better to delay investing in a new system rather than deploying the wrong ‘quick fix’.

However, the desire to understand all the available systems can lead to CFOs feeling overwhelmed, with three in four (77 per cent) stating that they lack the time and resources to assess all the options in order find the most appropriate solution.

Marc Pettican, CEO of Barclaycard Commercial Payments said: “Strong accounting systems are the backbone of any successful organisation, so it’s important that businesses invest in the solution that’s right for them. Our research shows that many businesses face frustrations with their current software and are looking for simpler, more automated, and more integrated solutions.

“When looking at more integrated alternatives, having the ability to integrate your finance system directly into your procurement platform can help streamline the wider procurement experience, offering a far less labour-intensive approach to payment reconciliation. Through our recent integrations with Coupa and SAP Ariba, we are making the ‘procure and pay’ experience even more simple and seamless for our clients.”

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Oliver Stevenson at Barclaycard on oliver.stevenson@barclaycard.co.uk or +44 207 116 3837

About the research

This study was conducted by Opinium Research between 18th and 25th February 2019, amongst 500 senior finance decision makers in companies with turnover of £6.5 million or more and who do not outsource their accounts payable.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point-of-sale finance. In 2018 we processed nearly £268bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.


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