The accounts payable departments at cities and municipalities must feel like they are on a treadmill.
Much of their day is spent on transaction processing such as:
- Keying invoice information
- Tracking down approvals
- Physically routing invoices
- Following up on approvals
- Resolving exceptions via back-and-forth e-mails and phone calls
- Keying information on approved invoices into an ERP
- Handling supplier inquiries
- Printing, stuffing, and mailing paper checks
- Reconciling checks and invoices
In fact, IOFM finds that transaction processing consumes 84 percent of the average accounts payable professional’s time, leaving only 16 percent of their time for data analysis.
The results of IOFM’s 2016 AP Key Performance Indicators Study underscore the burden of transaction processing. Of the 69 full-time equivalents (FTEs) employed in accounts payable departments (on average across all locations), all but one FTE performs invoice data-entry.
It is no wonder that improving processes and automating manual processes rank among the top accounts payable concerns of IOFM members.
Accounts payable professionals recognize that they need to spend less time on transaction processing and more time on value-added activities such as spend management and cash flow analysis. e-Payables solutions automate invoice processing and supplier payments end-to-end, freeing accounts payable staff to focus on things that matter more.
Without automation, the accounts payable departments at cities and municipalities will keep running on the treadmill.