The APQC Blog

Aggressive for a Reason

Prepared using APQC’s Benchmarks on Demand tool in accounts payable (AP), top performers measured by key performance metrics receive less than 35 percent of invoice line items electronically. It makes sense, then, that top performers have been very aggressive in embracing payables automation techniques. In fact, the Accounts Payable Productivity Index - Winter 2012 indicates that 78 percent of top performers are utilizing advanced data capture to convert paper invoices into electronic data, compared to only 43 percent of median performers doing the same.

Leveraging technology-driven solutions to cut down on paper invoices not only reduces reliance on manual data entry, which is a cost and error driver, but it also produces digitized data that can be fed automatically into the organization’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

With many suppliers and vendors submitting a substantial amount of paper invoices, top performers are either aggressively investing in digitalization technologies or strategically outsourcing these functions. There are many options available for utilizing the latest technology in this area. Some organizations have decided that, though necessary to utilize advanced data capture technology, this is an area they do not want to focus on and prefer to outsource the function.

In conclusion, until suppliers and vendors catch up and start submitting more electronic invoices, top performers will continue to be aggressive in utilizing advanced data capture technology to increase their organization’s overall effectiveness.