Automate Accounts Payable VS Manual Processing

By iPayables | April 1, 2016

Recently I did a webinar titled, “What Happens When you Automate Accounts Payable? Real Data comparing Automated vs. Manuel Invoice Processors.” In this webinar I explained the results of the 2016 Payables Automation Survey, which was sent out to over 30,000 CFO’s, AP managers, and controllers, asking them about how efficiently their AP department operates and what level of automation they utilize. I broke down the results and explained the virtues of an automated accounts payable process.

I also discussed how we took a survey of how many invoices a typical AP employee processes in a manual environment, versus OCR and electronic invoicing. The results show that in a manual environment, a company will process about 40 invoices a day vs. OCR at 160 and electronic invoicing at 480. This makes it a pretty easy business case for Accounts Payable Automation. Head count reduction was another topic that was discussed, associated with efficiency gains.

Per Month Per Week Per Day Per Hour Process Type
10,387 2,397 479 60 Electronic
3,821 882 176 22 OCR
906 209 42 5 Manual

The table above shows the number of invoices that are processed per employee (on average) based on the preferred processing method.

What we have seen in our clients is that the average AP staff went from 25 people to 9 people. This is a dramatic cost decrease for the department. By simply moving the good employees to more valuable jobs within the organization, most of these organizations avoid layoffs. Another example of how AP Automation can help other departments with specific jobs includes copying distributions from excel. This enables an individual to add complex distributions to an invoice in a matter of seconds, whereas it used to take up to four days (prior automating). This is a specific example of how we can be flexible with our application to make it fit our client’s specific business needs, instead of a company having to change to fit our software. These are just a few reasons why Electronic Invoicing can be such a valuable and flexible tool to work with.

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