Survey: Digital boost triggered by the pandemic has not reached receivables management.
The EOS survey “European Payment Practices 2022” shows that despite the pandemic and the surge in digitalization, many companies remain hesitant about digitalizing their receivables management.
- The payment practices of consumers have deteriorated in the course of the Covid-19 crisis.
- Increased workload in receivables management.
- Dunning systems getting left out of the digital transformation at many companies.
- Companies are risking their liquidity due to hesitancy about digitalizing receivables management.
When it comes to receivables management, companies have a digital backlog. This was one of the findings of the EOS survey “European Payment Practices 2022”, which polled 3,200 financial executives from 16 European countries. Many business owners are still proceeding tentatively with the establishment of a digital receivables management system, although they then run the risk of sitting on their outstanding payments.
The pandemic has changed receivables management.
However, expressed in absolute figures, a different picture emerges: Overall, just 21 percent of all companies in Europe have a fully digitalized dunning system, while another 29 percent have a largely digitalized dunning system. However, as many as 45 percent operate a receivables management system that is only partially or barely digitalized. While 23 percent of companies in Germany have now fully digitized their dunning process (in 2019 it was only 1 percent), 8 percent continue to process their receivables largely manually.
Further digitalization is urgently needed.
Firms risk extra workload and liquidity shortages.
In our experience, defaulting consumers want to make payments quickly, using digital means and without a lot of effort. By linking technology with the perspective of the defaulting consumers we improve repayment rates. Self-service offers with around-the-clock availability, as well as digital payment options, are increasingly becoming the norm.
Costs for digitalization pay dividends.
And such improvements will be all the more important, the more the economic mood turns. For example, in July 2022, the EU Commission revised its growth forecast for European GDP by the end of the year to 2.6 percent, whereas at the beginning of the year it had estimated it at 4 percent. At the same time, the Commission expects the inflation rate in the euro zone to reach 7.6 percent in 2022.
This goes hand in hand with a significant decline in on-time payments. And the trough has not yet been reached, says Justus: “We have to assume that there will a further deterioration in future.” Companies that don’t digitalize run the risk of sitting on their unpaid invoices. For the CFO, therefore, the aim is clear…
Companies need to stay the course and further digitalize their receivables management to reduce payment defaults.” With its longstanding experience, EOS can provide effective support with this process.