Regaining Control for AP Departments

Many accounts payable departments have experienced the unnerving feeling of being out of control. Businesses rely on the efficiency of invoice processing and supplier payments, but it’s easy for things to get out of hand, especially as invoice volume fluctuates. According to IOFM research, 51% of accounts payable professionals, in fact, anticipate their department’s business processes will become more complex over the next three years, only complicating matters further.

This increase in process complexity is the result of:

  • An increase in paper volumes
  • The diversifying mix of invoice delivery channels
  • New data capture demands
  • Regulations and languages
  • The need to integrate with multiple ERP platforms
  • The rise in global and regional shared service centers supporting multiple currencies

To combat these strains, AP departments must put the proper controls in place, or risk costly consequences. AP departments that have difficulty controlling any of these areas are at a higher risk for an increase in costs, errors, fraud, and upset suppliers. As a result, Hyland and IOFM have collaborated to create The AP Control Panel to examine the relationship between control and invoice processing performance. The AP Control Panel is a first-of-its-kind online tool that benchmarks the levels of control across AP departments. Specifically, it sought to determine if AP automation could improve operational control.

Research from the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM), “The Future of Accounts Payable,” suggests that accounts payable departments must improve control in 4 key areas:

  • Compliance
  • Operations
  • Working Capital
  • Compliance
  • Security

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