Outmoded finance functions stymie FTSE leaders

FINANCE FUNCTION costs have soared but FTSE leaders continue to lose money on time-wasting practices.

More than 130 of the top 200 listed companies are squandering cash on outdated processes, and PwC said 62% of finance staff still tackle spreadsheets manually.

Finance departments missed their chance to modernise during the recession, meaning analysts spend three days a week collecting data rather than analysing it, according to the firm.

Partner Nick Jarman warned the focus on short-term improvements ramps up costs, saying companies’ first priority should be to fix weaknesses in processes and systems.

The best finance functions focused on automation and hiring staff with excellent business partnering skills, helping reduce costs by 60% and error rates in accounts payable and receivable processes by 70%.

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