July 7, 2015

Basware-supported study reveals state of accounts payable, ePayables adoption

Stamford, CT—Basware, a provider of e-invoicing and purchase-to-pay solutions , has announced key findings from a study by Ardent Partners, ‘ePayables 2015: Higher Ground.  The firm, which polled financial executives across the globe, uncovered that Accounts Payable (AP) executives are focusing on improving operations and analysis, technology, and collaboration to achieve the next level of operational excellence.

According to the report, ePayables adoption is gaining the most initial traction in key areas, such as document imaging/scanning (72 per cent), automated routing and workflow approval (52 per cent), and automated data capture and extraction (38 per cent).  Companies’ plans for ePayables initiatives over the next two years include implementing complete purchase-to-pay solutions (51 per cent), supplier portals (51 per cent), e-invoicing solutions (49 per cent),  dynamic discounting (42 per cent) and supply chain finance solutions (41 per cent). 

”We are committed to continuously taking the pulse of the industry to best meet the needs of our customers today and tomorrow, and Ardent Partners’ research into the state of ePayables helps us effectively do that,” said Robert Cohen, vice-president, North America, Basware.  “ePayables 2015: Higher Ground provides great insights into the technologies and best practices that are enabling AP organizations to effectively manage their cash and working capital as they strive for excellence in their AP operations,” Cohen added.

“Since AP is a critical area for an organization and impacts many other departments, companies are focusing on ways to elevate that function and achieve high levels of excellence,” said Andrew Bartolini, chief research officer, Ardent Partners. “Invoices are often the ‘eyes’ to the financial soul of the business, since CFOs and other C-level executives can use AP data to gain insight into corporate financial health. The spend and supplier-specific data included in invoices can be leveraged to identify spend trends and patterns, support future supplier negotiations, and can determine how well-positioned a company is to take advantage of early-payment discounts.”

The report revealed the following key trends and strategies for achieving operational excellence:

  • AP departments believe the top three activities to help move AP to the next level of performance are: improving exception-handling and root cause analysis (56 per cent), implementing new or improved technologies (53 per cent), and enhancing connection with procurement (45 per cent).

  • The top priorities for 2015 include: improving AP reporting and analytics (40 per cent), reducing processing costs (37 per cent), improving collaboration with procurement (31 per cent), improving collaboration with suppliers (30 per cent), improving connectivity to suppliers (28 per cent), and better linking purchase-to-pay processes and systems (27 per cent). The most significant changes from last year’s research are that reducing processing costs dropped from the top priority spot, with 26 per cent fewer responses, and the focus on improving supplier collaboration doubled from the previous year.

  • While collaboration with Procurement is recognized as a key focus for operational excellence, 40 per cent of AP departments have implemented moderately collaborative initiatives with Procurement, and only 22 per cent have a strong link.

  • The goals of AP organizations for the next two years include: automating more processes (53 per cent), improving collaboration and process linkage between AP and procurement (37 per cent), reducing operational costs on AP-related processes (33 per cent), transforming AP into a more strategic and agile business function (30 per cent) and improving the commercial card program (17 per cent).

The ePayables 2015: Higher Ground report includes benchmarks, analysis, and recommendations to help finance leaders improve their operations and performance. It was supported in part by Basware.

The report is available here .




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