Benchmarking predicts greater strategic role.
Accounts payable professionals are playing an increasingly vital role in helping companies operate more efficiently--from mitigating risk and managing cash to adopting new technologies and operating models.
That's the conclusion of a new, ongoing study jointly conducted by the Institute of Financial Operations and APEX Analytix. More than 100 participants from accounts payable, procure-to-pay and financial shared services have contributed thus far to the examination of the issue. Of those, 60 percent work for companies that do business globally and 44 percent process more than 500,000 invoices annually.
Nearly half of the respondents say their company's AP function has grown into a centralized shared services model that spans several business units. Another 4.3 percent say they plan to move to shared services in the future.
"Preliminary results show accounts payable teams are taking on an increasingly strategic role," says CEO of APEX Analytix Steve Yurko. 'This is consistent with what we are hearing from our clients across the industry as they look to add value to their organizations by safeguarding disbursements."
Cost and accuracy are the two top improvement initiatives for AP, according to the survey, followed by service and cash. Respondents say the top priorities for senior management are forecasting working capital and cost per invoice. The two most frequently tracked accounts payable metrics are "paid on time" and "accounts payable processing time," while in the procure-to-pay arena, the key metric is "invoices requiring rework."
Among other key survey findings:
* 82 percent of respondents manage cash through discount terms.
* 69 percent use electronic document imaging.
* 62 percent use procurement cards to streamline purchasing.
* 59 percent selectively outsource freight bills, utility bills, document imaging, data entry or other functions.
* 57 percent are driving change initiatives.
* 51 percent have automated travel and entertainment transactions.
* 49 percent are involved in corporate risk management policies.
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|Title Annotation:||ACCOUNTS PAYABLE|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2011|
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