Best-in-Class Accounts Payable
The annual Ardent Partners State of ePayables report has been tracking best-in-class accounts payable performance and comparing it to the general market for years. Not surprisingly, best-in-class continues to improve each year, with cost per invoice decreasing and the amount of suppliers submitting invoices electronically increasing. But aside from better numbers, what does being “best-in-class” really entail?
Ardent Partners defines best-in-class accounts payable as the top 20% of businesses with the lowest average cost per invoice and the fastest average invoice processing time. These businesses perform utilize a higher level of automation “to streamline the AP process, make it more efficient, and enable more strategic activities.” Put simply, these companies are taking advantage of the highest levels of automation, including digitization and supplier portals.
Luckily, leveling-up your automation to streamline your process isn’t that difficult to achieve. Best-in-class accounts payable is more about being willing to take advantage of the AP automation solutions available than rearranging your workflows and processes. In fact, when you utilize a best-in-class automation solution, the process itself doesn’t change too much. Instead, you don’t need to worry about each invoice, the automation handles it for you, and your department just handles any exceptions or issues with the supplier. This straight-through processing is what allows the invoicing process to move so quickly and become best-in-class.
When best-in-class accounts payable is achieved through a supplier portal, it also eliminates the headache of supplier inquiries and dispute resolution. Suppliers are able to see for themselves where their invoices are at and they are notified of any dispute in real time. This leads to faster resolution and approvals. If you have any questions about best-in-class accounts payable or how you can level up your automation to get there, check out the Ardent Partners report, or contact us at iPayables.