While the increase in invoice volumes signals an uptick in corporate revenue, they are not exactly a cause for celebration in the accounts payable operations that are dealing with them. Those still transacting in paper are finding the up-flow married to an exponential increase in labor. These are among the published results in the 2014 AP Automation Study by The Institute of Financial Operations,
“AP professionals are being called on to do more cash management analysis and financial forecasting than ever before, but they’re still handling the basic fundamentals of the job with manual tools,” said Ken Brown, the IFO’s executive director. “The good news is that executives at the highest level are becoming more aware of the efficiencies automation can bring to the process.”
Only about 9 percent of respondents reported operations that are highly automated, which the study defined as receiving less than 10 percent of their invoices on paper. Three times as many (29 percent) said paper accounts for more than 90 percent of the invoices they receive.