Why Now Is the Time for Accounts Payable Automation

Why Now Is the Time for Accounts Payable Automation
May 18, 2020 | By Wendy St. Clair

It is no secret that COVID-19 has upended life beyond what we ever thought possible—our home lives, work lives and corporate environments have all changed dramatically, and companies are being forced to adjust to this new paradigm to survive in the “new normal.” At Kofax, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in organizations reprioritizing their need for AP automation technology to support their changing workforce and better manage their fluctuating cash flow needs. Where accounts payable automation projects may have been put on the back burner before, companies are now scrambling to automate AP functions with electronic invoicing solutions, invoice capture tools and AP workflow automation solutions.

It’s amazing to see that even now, only half of all companies have added automation to their accounts payable processes. Levvel Research shows that as of 2019, 57% of businesses are still primarily opening and scanning invoices by hand. In addition, 50% of companies still manually route invoices around the office. Knowing how dramatic the savings can be if a company automates invoices,from $10 - $2 per invoice for example, it’s a wonder more companies haven’t taken on this project.

Everest Group Webinar Covers AP Transformation’s Role in Business Continuity

We invited Shirley Hung from the Everest Group to talk us through the concept of accounts payable transformation. If you’re grappling with how to make the right changes, my hope is that the research she shares will bring you some ideas about how it could work in your environment.

During the webinar, she discusses the Everest Group’s insights on what’s happening today to drive AP transformation. She also covers some of the key implementation methods companies can consider, which technology levers make this shift worthwhile, and some of the most popular operating models for success.

One of the main points she brings home is the dramatic drop in cost per invoice companies can achieve with invoice capture, routing and workflow activities.

Everest Group AP Process Performance Across Organizations Can Vary Significantly small image

Using the information Everest provided, you can see that while low performing companies can expect to spend an average of $10 per invoice or 12-17 days, top performers with automation can expect to spend only $2 per invoice or 1-2 days to process it through the system.

Let’s extrapolate that out a bit. The annual cost for a low-performing organization processing 5,000 invoices per month is $600K, whereas the annual cost for a high-performing organization processing 5,000 invoices per month is $120K—a $480K difference! A significant reduction is also seen between low- and high-performing organizations that process just 500 invoices per month with high-performers realizing a $48K savings over low-performers meaning AP automation can quickly pay for itself and more, no matter the size of the company.

In our webinar, Ms. Hung addresses many of the challenges companies face when streamlining their AP operations and offers some salient recommendations for how to solve them.

We’ll present a number of ideas you can implement today to find the right automation solution for your business. All our recommendations not only meet the AP team’s business goals of: lower costs, greater efficiencies, better metrics, faster payments and fewer errors, but also deliver what your leadership is demanding of you today in this new normal. Fast implementation, strong ROI and minimal initial cash outlay. These recommendations will help you “lean into the curve” as we all work to successfully come out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch the on-demand webinar "Why Now is the Time to Embrace Accounts Payable Transformation" to learn more.

View the Webinar

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