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.