Boosting efficiency and cutting invoice processing costs remain the key drivers for businesses wanting to streamline their accounts payable (A/P) function, according to a recent survey conducted by ITESOFT. An ITESOFT survey conducted last year highlighted similar findings, with 85% of respondents saying that automation and going paperlight were key to business efficiency. This figure rose to 90% in 2009, showing that organisations are under increasing pressure to boost efficiency.
Almost three quarters (73%) of companies last year felt cost cutting would most impact their need to improve the A/P processes, this figure rose to 80% in 2009. This shows that cost cutting is becoming an ever more critical factor in the A/P function.
ITESOFT’s email survey of finance managers and senior A/P staff in UK public and private sector companies, showed that automation benefits such as reducing purchase-to-pay times and ensuring regulatory compliance were secondary compared with efficiency gains and cost reductions. Over half (53%) of companies wanted to reduce the purchase to pay cycle times in order to capture early payment discounts, while 20% cited regulatory compliance as a key driver.
Bill Webb, UK managing director at ITESOFT, said: “The down-turn in the economy has led many organisations to critically examine their business processes, in a bid to cut costs while maintaining efficiency. By automating core business processes such as A/P, which are traditionally extremely paper and labour-intensive, organisations can significantly streamline the handling and processing of supplier invoices. As well as achieving efficiency gains and cost savings, companies can get additional benefits such as early payment discounts and avoiding late-payment penalties.”
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