Do Accounting Pros Live Double Lives When It Comes to Online Bill Payments?
Many accounting and finance professionals are living a double life. A new survey shows that professionals who work with accounts payable processes are far more likely to use electronic bill payment options for their personal finances than at work. The survey, Exploring the Invoice-to-Pay Process, was conducted in November 2015 by MineralTree.
The lack of advanced technology at work is cause for concern, as unclear settlement windows have led to cash flow problems and lack of security protocols can put sensitive data at risk.
While at work, 81 percent of respondents said they use checks frequently or exclusively. Alternatively, these professionals rarely (48 percent) or never (7 percent) use paper checks in their personal lives, opting for faster, more automated payment methods.
However, a large portion of respondents who pay invoices electronically (via ACH or EFT) store the bank account numbers of their billers in places that likely lack proper security. Seventeen percent said they store this sensitive information in a word processing document or a spreadsheet and 11 percent weren’t sure where it was stored.
The research also found that current payment methods are causing nearly a quarter (24 percent) of organizations to experience cash flow problems because of unclear settlement windows.
“It’s shocking to learn that so many organizations have experienced cash flow problems and have opened themselves up to security risks by not having the proper systems in place,” said Bill Price, MineralTree’s CFO. “Accounting professionals seem to prefer automated payment methods for personal use, but don’t have access to similar options in the workplace, either due to lack of awareness or accessibility. This is a huge concern as businesses make far more payments to far more payees, increasing risk exponentially.” Read more on CPA Tax Advisor.