For the third time in the past four years, AP managers have reported ‘reducing invoice-processing costs’ as their number one priority. In Ardent Partner’s ePayables 2016 report, 41% of AP managers listed reducing processing costs as their top business priority for the year. This year’s report found that it has become even more of a priority for 2017 with 63% of those surveyed listing it as a top priority.
It is no surprise that lowering costs is one of the main business objectives for AP leaders, especially when you consider the highly competitive business world that AP supports. 51% of AP teams are prioritizing the need to better link P2P processes and systems. This issue has clearly grown in importance with only 22% prioritizing it in last year’s report and 27% in 2015.
The procure-to-pay (P2P) process ranges from requesting a product to the payment of an invoice and everything in between. In many organizations, each of these stages will be completed using a different piece of technology which creates inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the process. Ensuring that these processes are automated and integrated into one single platform helps to reduce human errors and time spent by employees on manual time-consuming tasks.
Read the story of how a £2.2 billion dollar company doubled productivity and decreased invoice processing times from 40 to only 10 days through linking their traditional P2P processes with modern automated systems.
The report also found that the AP function is clearly becoming more central to the success of an organization. In particular, AP has a huge effect on cash management, supplier management, and business intelligence. The report’s authors Andrew Bartolini and Christopher J. Dwyer, of Ardent Partners, believe that AP’s ability to positively impact the business is only set to increase moving forward. The scale of its impact will depend on the adoption of technology to improve processes and align with business objectives.
About the report:
The report that was conducted by Ardent Partners and released in June 2017, surveyed 200 AP and finance leaders and professionals. It is viewed as an industry-wide, comprehensive look into what is happening in the world of Accounts Payable and ePayables. It is a great resource for AP and finance professionals to leverage when benchmarking their performance against industry standards.