Although AP is responsible for handling most of organizations’ cash and should ideally be able to provide extensive transparency into its financial health and processes, how empowered does AP really tend to be? For many organizations, AP has been and at times, continues to be, considered a clerical function. As a result, AP staff is frequently charged with paying bills, and that’s all. Unfortunately, this approach sorely misses out on the opportunity to capture key business intelligence that AP should have access to.

Fortunately, however, attitudes regarding this are beginning to change. Since feature-rich AP automation tools are becoming available to AP departments, it’s finally being recognized that AP teams can offer significant insight into an organization’s financial health and practices. But this benefit can only come when said teams are relieved of much of their clerical work. This promising opportunity poses the question: Overall, where are organizations following this curve right now and how much transparency actually exists?

To explore this question in greater detail, Hyland and the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) jointly formed the AP Control Panel, a first-of-its kind tool to evaluate AP departments’ level of control over operations, cash flow, compliance, and security. It inquired about how well AP’s existing tools support and provide information about:

  • Operations
  • Organizational working capital
  • Compliance and security

The following report is the third and final report for the AP Control Panel, a research series that investigates the level of control that AP organizations have over the key areas known to improve performance. Over 300 AP professionals participated in the survey, and were asked to identify their invoice volumes and automation peer groups.

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