Measuring Accounts Payable Metrics That Matter

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Each year, Ardent Partners puts together their “Metrics that Matter” report on the metrics that organizations use to measure success in their AP departments that make them top-performing and best-in-class.

For those organizations that have embraced AP automation, there are statistics that Ardent Partners has highlighted in their report that make certain adopters “best-in-class.” These include invoice processing costs, electronic payments, invoice exception rates and the rate of touchless processing.

Here's what Ardent Partners found in this year's report:

  • Invoice Processing Costs: According to Ardent Partners, the average cost per invoice in 2019 was $11.57, which included the cost of labor, overhead and technology. Ardent Partners found that the 20 percent of companies with the lowest average invoice processing costs and the shortest average invoice times are considered the best of the best in accounts payable, demonstrating the cost saving capabilities of AP automation technology.
  • Electronic Payments: It can take about 25 days to process a single invoice using manual processes and procedures. This entails receiving invoices in the mail, copying, scanning, manually entering data, passing physical invoices to approvers and then filing those invoices in filing cabinets. However, Ardent Partners reports that automation can reduce invoice processing time down to just 3-5 days. The top-performing AP departments use automation to improve invoice processing time, resulting in a processing time that is three times faster for a single invoice than companies without automation, freeing up employee time to focus on more pertinent projects and improving customer and vendor relationships.
  • Invoice Exception Rates: Exceptions are often major hang-ups for companies not using automation technology. This is due to the time it takes to find and fix the problem and the number of people who often need to be involved in the manual process. However, best-in-class AP departments have used automation to combat this, resulting in a 57 percent lower exception rate than other enterprises. More accuracy and more efficiency thanks to the help of automation!
  • Touchless Processing: When an invoice is received, approved and processed manually, efficiency greatly declines and the process is drastically less accurate. But when companies use touchless processing, like MetaViewer’s Touchless Invoice Processing, they experience a rate of touchless invoices that are 3.4 times higher than companies that do not automate.

Today’s AP departments are utilizing automation at a higher rate than ever, and it’s paying off through gains in efficiency, accuracy and cash management. With the help of automation technology, companies can overcome barriers, like limited visibility and effectiveness, and become more streamlined than ever before. Want to learn more about the metrics that Ardent Partners is using to examine today's AP departments? Download the report!

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