Companies discover the value of AP automation

Companies discover the value of AP automation
Accounts Payable processing can be one of the most costly aspects of running an organization. The paper-intensive function involves high volumes of manual data entry, time-consuming exceptions processes and slow turnarounds, all of which can have a dramatic impact on a company’s bottom line.

But by choosing to automate its AP processing, that same organization can eliminate paper-driven processes, which reduces costs and increases turnaround speed. It can also enhance access to information and improve compliance and control. And that’s something many organizations are beginning to realize.

According to a survey presented at the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM) Accounts Payable & Procure to Pay Conference & Expo earlier this month in Florida, AP departments are investing in process standardization and automation at an increasingly high rate: Only 13.1 percent of those companies surveyed had no such investment, while 45.7 percent had made investments in Compliance & Security; 20 percent in Finance Talent; 24 percent in Innovation; 59.4 percent in Automation and a dramatic 61.1 percent in Process Standardization.

The reason for this investment? According to the survey, respondents want their organizations’ AP Processing to become “simple, transparent and seamless” – 3 percent want “simple;” 6 percent want “transparent” and 10 percent want “seamless” – but a whopping 79 percent want “all of the above.”  Because of this focus, AP automation tops the budget priorities of those surveyed: 75.2 percent listed “AP automation” as a top priority, over such other categories as P2P automation (38.9 percent), innovation programs (24.8 percent), traning/upskilling programs (50.3 percent) and fraud detection (24.8 percent).

At a time when 38 percent of financial organizations are struggling with increased (and increasingly costly) data analysis demands, it’s no wonder that many decision makers see the value of  converting manual, paper-based AP processing to automation. That simple step can reduce costs, increase compliance and security, streamline processes and allow employees to focus instead on their core competencies – all of which has tremendous value, monetarily and otherwise, for any organization.

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