Most people are aware of the many benefits of AP automation — converting accounts payable processes from manual to electronic – but they might be hard pressed to quantify them. At first glance, automating your invoices and payments increases efficiency, security and visibility while delivering measurable cost savings and generating rebates. Consider these facts:



Click here to view the full infographic

With results like these, it’s no wonder a recent Ardent Partners ePayables research report found that 59% of organizations expect to see full automation of their AP processes within 2 years.

Traditional accounts payable departments are bogged down with paper invoices and printed checks, manual processes and redundant data entry. Because of this, accounts payable departments have primarily been high cost centers for organizations. But what if you could transform you AP department from a cost center to a revenue generator? Consider this, PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that 27% of AP time is spent on activities that are wasteful or could be automated. If that seems high, think of all the heads-down processing your department spends on handling paper invoices and checks.

In fact, end-to-end AP automation will empower your AP department to take these 4 steps and bring a positive ROI to your organization:

1) Reduce invoice processing costs and bank fees by eliminating data entry, PO matching, paper handling, routing and physical document storage (compared to manual processes automation can deliver costs savings averaging 70%).


2) Accelerate cycle times to reduce late payment penalties and capture more available early-pay discounts with a streamlined workflow (with automation, best-in-class organizations process invoices 80 faster than their peers).


3) Enhance visibility to improve operational control, cash management and compliance (automated invoice-to-payment solutions provide real-time, end-to-end visibility into the full process and generate a detailed audit trail).


4) Pay suppliers electronically to earn cash-back rebates (in fact, some organizations earn rebates on up to 30% of electronic AP spend).

So what DO the numbers look like for AP automation?

Click here to view the full infographic

For a more in-depth look at how you can turn your AP department into a cost center, read the full white paper “4 Steps to Bringing a Positive ROI to Accounts Payable.”


Interested in more AP Automation articles? Subscribe now and don’t miss a beat.

Posted by Germaine Lang

Germaine Lang is the Managing Editor of SmartPayments with a strong creative and technical writing background across many industries. She also works to engage customers and relate their experiences with vendor products and services, positioning them as innovative thought leaders.