Enterprises are increasingly aware that paper and people-based processes lead to high AP transaction cost and missed business opportunities. In a recent study, approximately half of the organizations interviewed stated that they had problems with manual data entry, inefficient processes and manual routing of invoices for review and approval. Top Automation Priorities are implementing or increasing electronic invoicing, automated approval workflow for invoices, automating payments processing.
Elements for Success
Research shows that the best-in-class organization are 43% more likely to have enterprise-level visibility for AP transactions. The rest suffer from higher transaction costs and longer cycle times. A high degree of visibility brings substantial advantages, include: low transaction costs, shorter processing cycle times, decreased risk, shorter response times, improved forecasting and management, greater ability to monitor billing.
56% more likely to have established a platform for collaboration between enterprise groups and functions that are impacted by AP operations. Also, organizations that have developed a collaborative framework provided by an automated integrated AP system process more than twice the number of payments electronically than all others, bringing significant savings in payment/settlement costs.
Audit controls ensure that AP transactions are processed in a way that complies with policies, procedures and regulations. They help reduce late payments fees, capture negotiated discounts and early payment discounts, eliminate, duplicate invoice payments, and prevent fraudulent payments. Research has found the exception rates in top preforming firms are 85% lower than other enterprises.
Automation is a critical foundation to lowering costs and streamlining each of the four AP sub-processes: invoice receipt, approval and inquiry, validation and reconciliation, and settlements. While 44% of best-in-class enterprises utilize a single e-payable's solution to fully automate their entire AP process, the majority of AP departments utilize a patchwork of solutions to automate certain processes. Electronic payments have the highest penetration among all AP automation solutions (80% for best-in-class, 60% for all other enterprises). Organizations with ‘on average’ 60% payments made annually via paper-based checks have an opportunity to greatly improve.
Research-based evidence shows that automation is yet again the way forward for cost savings and improved efficiency. By following these key elements visibility, collaboration, control, and automation we are certain you will be successful in your accounts payable automation.