Accounts payable automation can provide an array of solutions to some of the most friction-rich business processes. From saving money by ditching paper to gaining a more sophisticated view of cash positions, AP solutions are adopted for different, often multiple reasons.
Reports on Wednesday (June 15) said industry researchers found that the tedious, time-wasting invoice approval and payment process was AP executives' top struggle, with 21 percent citing this challenge.
Close behind, with 19 percent citing this hurdle, was the frustration associated with manual and paper-based processing.
The two issues surpassed the friction associated with managing vendors, inquiries and complaints and the lack of workflow deadlines and enforcement.
Lost and missing invoices were surprisingly low on the list, cited by just 7 percent of those surveyed as the most frustrating aspect of the accounts payable process.
In its research, iPayables also asked for commentary from the surveyed AP professionals so they could express in their own words the challenges of their current AP processing systems.
"I hate it when invoices do not make it to AP for payment, then getting blamed when vendors get angry for nonpayment," said one AP professional in the report.
IPayables added that a common source of frustration for accounts payable occurs when a supplier or vendor sends an invoice to someone outside of the AP department, leading to delayed payments and an interrupted workflow.
"Lack of knowledge of the system from other departments" was also cited, while another professional stated, "I'm really tired of chasing approvals for services provided and with our excessive use of paper."
Collectively, there is a pattern here, iPayables said. Nearly three-quarters of the problems highlighted in the report involved a lack of efficiency, visibility and control in the AP process. More than half of the problems cited were directly related to eInvoicing and AP automation.