Improved reporting a bigger priority for AP departments

Improved reporting a bigger priority for AP departments
Companies see Accounts Payable automation as more than just a way to reduce costs (though that remains a priority). Instead, organizations are increasingly focusing on improved reporting and analytics as a top AP priority.  That’s according to a survey of 175 AP and financial operations leaders conducted by Ardent Partners.

Reducing costs is now an AP priority for just 37 percent of organizations – down from 63 percent the previous year, Ardent Partners found.

Other findings of the Ardent Partners survey included:

  • Improved AP reporting and analytics increased in priority to 40 percent, up 3 percent from 2014
  • Improved collaboration with suppliers, which was a priority for 30 percent of respondents, doubling its 15 percent total of 2014
  • Improved connectivity to suppliers, identified by 28 percent of respondents, up from 19 percent in 2014
  • Improved collaboration with procurement, identified by 31 percent of respondents, up from 27 percent in 2014
  • Better linking of peer-to-peer processes and systems, identified by 27 percent of respondents, up from 25 percent in 2014

Ardent Partners believes there are several reasons for the shifting priorities:

  • The Chief Financial Officer and other C-level executives can use AP to chart patterns in invoice data, “painting a vivid picture of corporate health.”
  • Spend- and supplier-specific data can be used to uncover trends and patterns that can inform future supplier negotiations.
  • Companies are focusing more on collaboration as well as electronic connections to suppliers and procurement, and increased AP processing is a natural part of this shift of focus.

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