This survey set out to measure the overall efficiency of accounts payable (AP) departments at a time of historic technological and functional changes in the profession.
These findings represent a mixed bag for the AP profession. On one hand, the industry has
made steady progress towards a touchless electronic environment. AP departments also have
done a commendable job of managing invoice processing costs and cycle times in spite of
stubbornly high paper invoice volumes. On the other hand, AP departments are challenged with
managing multiple invoice delivery channels, while paying invoices to terms, improving Day’s
Payables Outstanding (DPO), and meeting growing demands for real-time visibility (analytics)
into financial information.
AP departments should not count on the continued decline of paper invoices alone to move
them towards their objectives. Mature (workflow) and emerging (mobile invoice capture
and approval, cloud-based invoice processing, and analytics) technologies will enable AP
departments to accelerate their push towards touchless processing, and to better manage AP
complexities in the interim.