5 stats that prove Accounts Payable professionals are rockstars

March 19, 2018 Matt Vermeulen

Elon Musk is packing venues like Justin Bieber, the tech world is going nuts over personal AI and companies are changing their names to “blockchain” just to raise stock prices. Somehow, the tech scene went boy band. Meanwhile, Accounts Payable pros like you are working hard without any of the glory.

Whether or not your department is fully digitized, AP pros are faster and more agile than ever and deserve a share of the limelight. Even if you’re not digitized, you’re still a rock star.

The following 5 stats prove Accounts Payable professionals rock:

  1. $18.5 trillion. Cross-border B2B payments in 2016 reached this number. And the value of US B2B payments is expected to reach $23 trillion by 2020. Trade between companies (cross-border and national) will continue to accelerate. Being tax compliant in all countries is an achievement. AP professionals like you are processing more invoices faster than ever while keeping suppliers happy and numbers accurate. And you’re ensuring invoice compliance without breaking a sweat.
  2. $2.74. That’s the total all-inclusive cost for best-in-class enterprises to process a single invoice. What’s your secret? You’re using cloud technology to automate invoice processing and reducing errors and exceptions. You can use those new efficiencies to turn your attention to strategic initiatives like early payment programs and virtual card payment solutions.
  3. 3.5 days. Best-in-class enterprises are processing a single invoice 71 percent faster than all others. If you’re one of these top-performers, you’re leveraging technology to streamline your invoicing and your P2P processes. And you know that an automated process gets the invoice in your system sooner, giving you a greater chance of capturing early payment programs like dynamic discounting. If you’re still dealing with mounds of paper, more power to you. Look at the paper problem as a career opportunity: do your research, make a business case for AP automation, get your department digitized, and rock on.
  4. 22,756. The top performers’ annual number of invoices processed per FTE is almost unbelievable. You’re breaking speed records in processing every day by combining your expertise with automation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. (Source: Scheer, Jess, editor. Is Your AP Performance Top Tier? IOFM, 2017.)
  5. 90%. Top performers match their purchase orders with their invoices 90 percent of the time. This is the equivalent of winning a Grammy. If you’ve reached this level of efficiency, you know it’s not just about automation. It’s about process improvements and building a strong relationship with the rest of your business for true procure-to-pay stardom. (Source: Ibid)

So what’s so “rockstar” about all of these stats? They prove how hard you work every day to make your business run. And if you’re still processing a lot of paper invoices, you’re probably working even harder. You cut out redundancies and work around the extra time spent doing double data-entry. You find the time to manage contracts and get approvals. And you work your AP magic to navigate through all the invoices and approvers to match purchase orders with invoices.

Want to reach those highs, but afraid you’ll burn out along the way? Don’t worry, there are things you can do. Make digital the default with an e-invoicing solution that your suppliers will actually use. Get more suppliers onboarded to your solution, faster so you can make manual data entry a thing of the past. Get full visibility into your data to see large scale patterns by using cloud technology. You’ll free up a ton of time that used to be dedicated to redundancy, and you’ll start seeing your processing time and costs drop. Not only that, you–yes, you–can position accounts payable as the center of a full procure-to-pay digital transformation.

So the next time you see tech all stars packing out venues, remember: you’re the true rockstar shredding behind the scenes.

One more stat for the road: See how the AP rockstars at DHL, world’s largest courier, process 10 million invoices a year. Get the story here.

About the Author

Matt Vermeulen

Matt Vermeulen writes about B2B commerce for Tradeshift. Whether he's writing about Accounts Payable best practices or debunking AI myths, Matt enjoys making complex topics easy to understand and fun to read.

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