Following the budget announcement in the UK today, many businesses are breathing a sigh of relief regarding the extension of the furlough scheme for those businesses that have been badly affected by the pandemic. The scheme will gradually phase out, employees will continue to receive 80% of their wages until the scheme ends, but employers will be asked to contribute 10% in July, then 20% in August and September. Hopefully, this will give a little breathing space to get back to normality after the proposed end of lockdown on 21st June.
Despite the doom and gloom forecasters predicted, there is no rise in corporation tax until 2023. Although the rise will be steep when it comes, the two-year delay gives businesses time to prepare and mitigate the downfall. Additionally, the £5bn restart grant will mean that businesses can make the most of the resumed trading and growth and see their bottom lines stabilise or, hopefully, increase. The 130% super deduction for those businesses who are able to make investments means they can cut their taxes by up to £25 for every £1 they invest.
The chancellor says the economy will recover more quickly from the pandemic than previously thought, with the economy returning to its pre-pandemic size six months earlier, by the middle of next year.
All these positive moves by the UK government mean that businesses can be less cautious about procurement, helping to kickstart the economy by investing in their infrastructure.
Many organisations were unprepared for enforced remote working and have had to deal with workarounds. This has put immense pressure on the teams within the business, with some of the worst affected area being back office teams such as Accounts Payable.
An essential department, often overlooked, and not given the importance they deserve, these teams have had to try and find workarounds for many problems. Paper invoices being delivered to the office. Teams, that had previously worked together in an office to work through disjointed data input and piles of paper invoices, now have to try and reenact this process remotely. This is before we get onto authorisation of invoices. An invoice being physically passed from department to department for approval is a difficult enough system to track when all the business is under one roof; it’s almost impossible when working remotely! And of course, there is the data security issue. Teams working from home, paperwork out of the office, remote connections via home hubs lacking the security and firewalls that the organisation has spent so much time and effort to ensure are in place when working from HQ! Procurement shortcuts are rife, with goods being bought without the usual PO processes because the purchase is needed now to be able to continue working …. The list goes on.
So now, with the budget and the roadmap for coming out of lockdown announcements made, why not use the time to re-evaluate the business processes and make a plan for automation. The dip in business could give companies the time and headspace to sit back, to work out what the biggest pain point is, and how to overcome it with automation. Find a Solution Partner that will listen to the pain points and help design a staged automation solution as an interactive process. Within weeks, the automation could be up and running, and your biggest pain point solved.