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Pitching ROI for Accounts Payable

PayStream Report Highlight: Pitching ROI for Accounts Payable

March 01, 2017
Pitching ROI for Accounts Payable - Artsyl

Artsyl-sponsored Guide from PayStream Advisors Focuses on Making the Business Case for AP Automation, Calculating ROI and Establishing Ongoing KPIs

A new 2017 guide from PayStream Advisors explores how accounts payable automation has achieved a well-deserved reputation for quickly delivering a return on investment for companies who invest improving the efficiency and accuracy of their AP operations.

The report, entitled, “Pitching ROI for Accounts Payable,” was sponsored by Artsyl Technologies and includes a case study from Canadian hardware retailer and Artsyl client, Canac, Inc.

Real world results from AP Automation

The Canac case study is a perfect illustration of the kind of efficiency gains and ROI that many companies achieve by automating accounts payable—particularly when they leverage smart process platforms like Artsyl’s docAlpha to automate tasks like document handling, approval routing and transaction data entry.

In the case of Canac, that automation reduced invoice cycle times from two weeks to just two days, automating the processing of over 120,000 vendor invoices annually.

Overcoming Obstacles to Innovation

According to the PayStream report, however, while the gains from AP automation are well known and AP automation is a relatively low risk/high reward prospect for most organizations, AP teams have not always been able to make a winning case for investing in innovation and automation.

PayStream Advisors’ research shows that the top barriers to invoice management software adoption include:

  1. The belief that current processes are working;

  2. A belief that there will be no Return on Investment (ROI) from a solution;

  3. A failure to gain internal buy-in.

These three barriers often keep organizations operating with manual processes for many years. Instead, they continue to overspend on processing costs and miss out on potential savings from early-payment discounts.

To overcome internal indifference for the need for a better solution, the Pitching ROI report focuses on helping AP teams to define and communicate the true cost of manual accounts payable processes and the well-established, measurable benefits to AP automation.

The report includes a framework for calculating a return on investment for AP Automation. As part of that process, AP teams are encouraged to think beyond bottom line benefits of increased efficiency to the top-line benefits that can be achieved by gaining better control and visibility over a process that can have an impact on strategic KPIs like cash flow and available capital. That control and visibility can impact top-line business growth by favorably impacting vendor relationships and ultimately support greater customer satisfaction and revenue growth.

Achieving Efficiency and Control Enterprise-wide

According to PayStream, “When presenting their case for automation, practitioners should leverage all current-state and ROI metrics with a detailed plan for product implementation, highlighting the long-term benefits of the solution in both hard and soft costs. This will ensure that stakeholders are aware of their process needs, educated on the solutions to these needs, and optimistic and enthusiastic about implementing a new system.”

For many organizations, that optimism and enthusiasm for automation translates to other departments and other processes. In many cases, it is easy for executives to envision how the technologies and processes that lead to dramatic improvement to accounts payable can be applied to data- and document-processes throughout their organizations, leading to even greater gains and faster innovation.

To download a copy of the report, here.