AP Automation, the modern technology that helps companies big and small around the world manage invoices and payments, is becoming more mission-critical than ever. Amid the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic, financial processes like account-payables workflow from invoice capturing to approvals and from reporting to internal control procedures are considered essential tasks that need to be automated to sustain business continuity.
A new survey of 500 global organizations underscores the fact that companies that have invested in AP Automation software tools are better equipped to ensure business continuity both from the perspectives of cost control and process efficiency.
In fact, the smaller a company, the more important it prioritizes the speed to process an invoice and the need to increase efficiency and performance of its financial management function, according to the survey results. Eighty-four percent of companies with less than $10 million in annual revenues(vs. 78% in general) said time to process an invoice is the key to improving their financial workflow, while 91% of respondents among companies with between $10 million and $100 million in annual revenues(vs. 87% in general) cited increased efficiency and performance as key attributes of implementing AP Automation tools.
A 80-person business process outsourcing company in New Jersey for healthcare providers reported that with the use of AP Automation tool from Stampli the amount of time that it takes to onboard its accounts for billing and business office management services has been cut from 20 minutes to 30 seconds.
The emphasis on speed and efficiency among smaller companies is particularly striking given that they only represent 37% of the companies surveyed. This suggests that given their limited resources, their ability to survive and thrive rests on as much as the time they can save and eliminate unnecessary finance-specific tasks and procedures in order to help these smaller companies focus more of their attention on customers and business at hand.
Partial list of the customers included in ARTW AP Automation Study
|Ackerman & Co||Construction and Real Estate||100||$30.0M||United States||AvidInvoice|
|Colliers International||Construction and Real Estate||15250||$2.19B||Canada||AvidInvoice|
|Island Hospitality Management||Professional Services||3000||$500.0M||United States||AvidInvoice|
|Wentworth Property Management||Banking and Financial Services||20000||$2.00B||United States||AvidInvoice|
|SHE Media||Communications||250||$50.0M||United States||AvidInvoice|
|SCM Real Estate Services||Construction and Real Estate||15||$2.0M||United States||AvidInvoice|
|BERG Toys B.V.||Consumer Packaged Goods||100||$10.0M||Netherlands||AXtension Invoice Processing|
|Musco Family Olive Co.||Manufacturing||350||$40.0M||United States||AXtension Invoice Processing|
|NAGRA Kudelski||Professional Services||3100||$810.0M||Switzerland||AXtension Invoice Processing|
|RPC Promens||Consumer Packaged Goods||40||$5.0M||United Kingdom||AXtension Invoice Processing|
|Sempra LNG||Utilities||200||$100.0M||United States||AXtension Invoice Processing|
|Terberg Business Lease Group B.V.||Automotive||180||$20.0M||Netherlands||AXtension Invoice Processing|
|ABB||Manufacturing||147000||$31.78B||Switzerland||Basware AP Automation|
|API||Retail||3000||$2.62B||Australia||Basware AP Automation|
|Boels Rental||Distribution||4000||$476.0M||Netherlands||Basware AP Automation|
|DivestGroup||Banking and Financial Services||150||$11.0M||Finland||Basware AP Automation|
|Mohawk Medbuy Corporation||Healthcare||250||$45.0M||Canada||Basware AP Automation|
|Compass Group USA||Professional Services||288133||$19.52B||United States||BeanworksAP|
|Fatigue Science||Professional Services||50||$5.0M||Canada||BeanworksAP|
|Home Point Financial Corporation||Banking and Financial Services||1000||$100.0M||United States||BeanworksAP|
|The Ford Plantation Club, Inc.||Construction and Real Estate||100||$10.0M||United States||BeanworksAP|
|Trailer Wizards Ltd.||Transportation||200||$20.0M||Canada||BeanworksAP|
|Easter Seals Greater Houston||Non Profit||247||$19.0M||United States||Bill.com|
|O&M Restaurant Group||Retail||1000||$120.0M||United States||Bill.com|
|Venturity||Professional Services||100||$15.0M||United States||Bill.com|
|Merchant eSolutions||Professional Services||350||$120.0M||United States||Bill.com|
|Tamara Mellon||Retail||60||$12.0M||United States||Bill.com|
|Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino||Leisure and Hospitality||1000||$200.0M||United States||BirchStreet AP 3-Way Auto-Match|
|Francis Tuttle Technology Center||Education||450||$30.0M||United States||BirchStreet AP 3-Way Auto-Match|
|Interstate Operating Company, L.P||Leisure and Hospitality||35000||$3.30B||United States||BirchStreet AP 3-Way Auto-Match|
|The Peninsula New York||Leisure and Hospitality||550||$80.0M||United States||BirchStreet AP 3-Way Auto-Match|
|Baptist Health South Florida||Healthcare||23000||$3.00B||United States||Bottomline Paymode-X AP Automation|
|BIS Industries||Oil, Gas and Chemicals||2000||$300.0M||Australia||Bottomline Paymode-X AP Automation|
|Oldcastle APG||Manufacturing||5000||$2.00B||United States||Bottomline Paymode-X AP Automation|
|PQ Corporation||Manufacturing||3279||$1.57B||United States||Bottomline Paymode-X AP Automation|
|Taubman Centers||Construction and Real Estate||420||$661.0M||United States||Bottomline Paymode-X AP Automation|
|Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP||Professional Services||850||$324.0M||United Kingdom||Chrome River Invoice|
|GrayRobinson, P.A.||Professional Services||600||$320.0M||United States||Chrome River Invoice|
|Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP||Professional Services||300||$263.0M||United States||Chrome River Invoice|
|West Virginia University Foundation Inc||Non Profit||100||$20.0M||United States||Chrome River Invoice|
|Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System||Education||30000||$6.80B||United States||Chrome River Invoice|
|DEFA AS||Manufacturing||400||$50.0M||Norway||Compello Process|
|IF P&C Insurance Holding Ltd.||Insurance||6680||$800.0M||Sweden||Compello Process|
|Mälardalens Bostadsrättsforvaltning||Construction and Real Estate||50||$5.0M||Sweden||Compello Process|
|Ragn-Sells AB||Professional Services||2500||$620.0M||Sweden||Compello Process|
|Volkswagen Møller Bilfinans||Banking and Financial Services||80||$12.0M||Norway||Compello Process|
|1st United Bank||Banking and Financial Services||100||$10.0M||United States||Corcentric Accounts Payable Automation|
|Baird and Warner||Construction and Real Estate||2900||$1.60B||United States||Corcentric Accounts Payable Automation|
|Port of Seattle||Government||2150||$670.0M||United States||Corcentric Accounts Payable Automation|
|University Physicians, Inc||Education||400||$50.0M||United States||Corcentric Accounts Payable Automation|
|Transervice Logistics||Distribution||1000||$150.0M||United States||Corcentric Accounts Payable Automation|
|Allegheny Health Network||Healthcare||80000||$18.78B||United States||Coupa Invoice|
|Avalon Health Care Group||Healthcare||7000||$600.0M||United States||Coupa Invoice|
|Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc.||Manufacturing||30000||$3.63B||United States||Coupa Invoice|
|United Service Organizations||Non Profit||1000||$100.0M||United States||Coupa Invoice|
|The Fresh Market, Inc.||Retail||13000||$1.80B||United States||Coupa Invoice|
|Colliers International||Construction and Real Estate||15250||$2.19B||Canada||Dooap AP Automation|
|Istekki Oy||Professional Services||600||$110.0M||Finland||Dooap AP Automation|
|MaxPax LLC||Professional Services||80||$10.0M||United States||Dooap AP Automation|
|SA Recycling LLC||Manufacturing||1200||$590.0M||United States||Dooap AP Automation|
|Ernst & Young LLP (Singapore)||Professional Services||270000||$36.40B||United Kingdom||ExFlow AX|
|Cavalier Bremworth||Manufacturing||1000||$120.0M||New Zealand||ExFlow D365 FO|
|Benify||Professional Services||250||$40.0M||Sweden||ExFlow NAV|
|Evolution Gaming Latvia||Professional Services||3456||$102.0M||Latvia||ExFlow NAV|
|Fagron||Life Sciences||2000||$478.0M||Netherlands||ExFlow NAV|
|Arjo Wiggins Diaper Papers SA||Manufacturing||500||$60.0M||France||Kofax ReadSoft Invoices|
|BNP Paribas Fortis||Banking and Financial Services||18000||$8.81B||Belgium||Kofax ReadSoft Invoices|
|KBC Group||Banking and Financial Services||34078||$8.21B||Belgium||Kofax ReadSoft Invoices|
|L’Oréal||Consumer Packaged Goods||86974||$29.87B||France||Kofax ReadSoft Invoices|
|TransMontaigne||Oil, Gas and Chemicals||600||$200.0M||United States||Kofax ReadSoft Invoices|
|W. R. Grace & Co.||Oil, Gas and Chemicals||3700||$1.72B||United States||Kofax ReadSoft Invoices|
|Andrews Distributing||Distribution||1520||$155.0M||United States||MediusFlow AP Invoice Automation|
|Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc.||Distribution||8147||$7.11B||United States||MediusFlow AP Invoice Automation|
|Dynapac Compaction Equipment AB||Manufacturing||1300||$250.0M||Sweden||MediusFlow AP Invoice Automation|
|Elekta||Manufacturing||4000||$1.20B||Sweden||MediusFlow AP Invoice Automation|
|Fluiconnecto Holdings B.V.||Distribution||1350||$222.0M||Netherlands||MediusFlow AP Invoice Automation|
|LUSH||Consumer Packaged Goods||1401||$550.0M||United Kingdom||MediusFlow AP Invoice Automation|
|Apnea Care||Healthcare||130||$11.0M||United States||MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay|
|Baltimore Ravens||Leisure and Hospitality||1000||$438.0M||United States||MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay|
|EverQuote||Insurance||250||$73.0M||United States||MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay|
|GoSPotCheck||Professional Services||200||$25.0M||United States||MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay|
|IPSY||Retail||3000||$500.0M||United States||MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay|
|MGM Resorts International||Leisure and Hospitality||82000||$11.76B||United States||Nvoicepay Payment Automation|
|Park Place Dealerships||Automotive||2300||$2.00B||United States||Nvoicepay Payment Automation|
|Refinery29, Inc.||Professional Services||400||$100.0M||United States||Nvoicepay Payment Automation|
|Treadmaxx Tire Distributors||Distribution||386||$40.0M||United States||Nvoicepay Payment Automation|
|VCC Construction||Construction and Real Estate||600||$100.0M||United States||Nvoicepay Payment Automation|
|Apoteksgruppen||Retail||1000||$120.0M||Sweden||OpusCapita Source-to-Pay AP Process Automation|
|Etola-yhtiöt||Distribution||1300||$510.0M||Finland||OpusCapita Source-to-Pay AP Process Automation|
|Getinge Shared Services||Manufacturing||500||$80.0M||Poland||OpusCapita Source-to-Pay AP Process Automation|
|Stora Enso Oyj||Manufacturing||26096||$11.03B||Finland||OpusCapita Source-to-Pay AP Process Automation|
|Barona Group||Professional Services||10000||$400.0M||Finland||Palette AP Automation|
|Clas Ohlson||Retail||5000||$891.0M||Sweden||Palette AP Automation|
|Hartela||Construction and Real Estate||635||$371.0M||Finland||Palette AP Automation|
|Renta Group||Professional Services||650||$220.0M||Finland||Palette AP Automation|
|Sportmaster||Leisure and Hospitality||30000||$15.00B||Singapore||Palette AP Automation|
|USFarathane||Manufacturing||5100||$850.0M||United States||Palette AP Automation|
|American Red Cross||Non Profit||19000||$2.87B||United States||SAP Concur Invoice|
|Cloudera||Professional Services||2947||$479.0M||United States||SAP Concur Invoice|
|Code42||Professional Services||200||$110.0M||United States||SAP Concur Invoice|
|Insite Software||Professional Services||115||$20.0M||United States||SAP Concur Invoice|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.||Banking and Financial Services||256720||$115.63B||United States||SAP Concur Invoice|
|University of San Francisco||Education||2257||$200.0M||United States||SAP Concur Invoice|
|Techstars||Professional Services||3000||$500.0M||United States||Stampli AP Automation Platform|
|Revolve Group, Inc.||Retail||1008||$600.0M||United States||Stampli AP Automation Platform|
|Walther Farms||Consumer Packaged Goods||150||$14.0M||United States||Stampli AP Automation Platform|
|SIMA Management Corporation||Construction and Real Estate||100||$20.0M||United States||Stampli AP Automation Platform|
|LTC Consulting Services||Professional Services||100||$9.0M||United States||Stampli AP Automation Platform|
|Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts||Leisure and Hospitality||45000||$5.20B||Canada||SutiAP|
|Hardy Diagnostics||Life Sciences||400||$50.0M||United States||SutiAP|
|IPT Global||Professional Services||100||$10.0M||United States||SutiAP|
|Rinnai America Corporatiion||Manufacturing||500||$100.0M||United States||SutiAP|
|Docker, Inc||Professional Services||300||$100.0M||United States||Tipalti Invoice Management and Bill Processing System|
|FourSquare||Professional Services||400||$100.0M||United States||Tipalti Invoice Management and Bill Processing System|
|GoDigital Media Group||Professional Services||100||$10.0M||United States||Tipalti Invoice Management and Bill Processing System|
|Swing Education, Inc.||Education||500||$50.0M||United States||Tipalti Invoice Management and Bill Processing System|
|Zipline||Distribution||500||$50.0M||United States||Tipalti Invoice Management and Bill Processing System|
|Zola||Professional Services||600||$120.0M||United States||Tipalti Invoice Management and Bill Processing System|
|Air France-KLM||Transportation||86138||$29.83B||France||Tradeshift Pay|
|Archer-Daniels-Midland Company||Manufacturing||38000||$64.66B||United States||Tradeshift Pay|
|CBRE Group, Inc||Construction and Real Estate||100000||$23.89B||United States||Tradeshift Pay|
|Kuehne + Nagel||Distribution||78000||$21.77B||Switzerland||Tradeshift Pay|
|Department of Veterans Affairs||Government||380000||$200.00B||United States||Tungsten AP Invoice Automation|
|Henkel||Consumer Packaged Goods||52450||$21.87B||Germany||Tungsten AP Invoice Automation|
|Lombart Instrument, Inc.||Distribution||100||$11.0M||United States||Tungsten AP Invoice Automation|
|Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.||Leisure and Hospitality||85300||$10.95B||United States||Tungsten AP Invoice Automation|
|Answer Financial||Insurance||530||$80.0M||United States||WhiteOwl PaperSave Solution|
|Comfort Research||Manufacturing||220||$73.0M||United States||WhiteOwl PaperSave Solution|
|DEPaul||Non Profit||1700||$200.0M||United States||WhiteOwl PaperSave Solution|
|Washington & Lee University||Education||1500||$200.0M||United States||WhiteOwl PaperSave Solution|
|City of Cleburne||Government||180||$35.0M||United States||Yooz AP Automation|
|Ritter Communications||Communications||300||$150.0M||United States||Yooz AP Automation|
|Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill||Retail||200||$15.0M||United States||Yooz AP Automation|
|Township of Upper St. Clair||Government||150||$25.0M||United States||Yooz AP Automation|
Source: Apps Run The World AP Automation Study, May 2020
Other AP Automation software providers included in the ARTW Study are: ACOM Solutions, Aestiva, Hyland, Oracle, Sage, DocStar, Airbase, MetaViewer, Esker, MHC Software, Spendesk, Tradeshift, Apxpress, Artsyl, Axtension, Alton, Cashbook, Centreviews, Centsoft, Finexio, VV Finly Technology, Invu, Iptor, NextProcess, NumbersAgent AP, Ocerra, Octacom, OnPay Soutions, Paypool, Plooto, Proactis, Efficiency Leaders, SoftCo, Vanguard Systems, BlueCreek Software and others.
Here are the key findings of the AP Automation customer survey:
- Efficiency is the most cited reason behind the decision to invest in AP Automation tools. With 87% of companies surveyed calling that out, their efficiency drive is consistent with the moment in time when companies are evaluating everything that they do and decide on what constitutes Enterprise Essentials for ensuring continuous business operations.
- Elimination of manual procedures and time to process an invoice are cited the most behind efficiency, each securing 78% of the responses. Of these 500 companies, the modernization efforts to get rid of paper invoices and speed up invoice processing are the same impetus that has propelled many others to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives in light of the downturn because not doing so could jeopardize their future.
- The move toward data workflow and Optical Character Recognition(OCR) secures 65% of the responses from the surveyed companies, while business agility and ERP integration each collects 58% of the votes from these organizations. These two favorite responses are derived pretty consistently from companies regardless of their revenues, volume of invoices and workloads. Their alignment suggests that companies of all sizes are eager to look for alternatives to how they manage their business processes previously by refusing to accept the status quo and become leaner and more agile through tighter integration across all current systems being deployed.
- Real time analytics(53%), Cost Effectiveness(53%), and User Experience(45%) are rated as standard outcomes that about half of these customers can expect from such financial technology projects. It is possible that the other half of the surveyed companies consider the real-time, ROI and UX benefits secondary to issues like efficiency and automation capabilities. The upshot is that the more recent implementations(especially those in 2018 and 2019) of these AP Automation use cases, the more intrinsic value they place upon real-time reporting, ROI and usability from their projects.
- The Remote Access, Reliability and Security aspect of AP Automation is cited by 38% of surveyed companies. Not surprisingly, their sentiments would have increased if these implementations were done today given the tremendous popularity of everything from digital signature to video conferencing during the global efforts to thwart the pandemic. Almost all of the vendors cited in the survey have placed the appeal of remote AP Automation as the front and center of their value propositions. Stampli, for instance, is guaranteeing the deployment of a fully remote AP management in 24 hours.
Implications of AP Automation On How Businesses Continue Their Operations
The survey results are based on our continuous research on tens of thousands of companies and their enterprise applications implementations by zeroing in on their system go-lives, short-term and long-term benefits that have been documented, as well as implications of such projects on the future of work, or for that matter workplace and organizational productivity for all the key stakeholders involved.
For the AP Automation study, we focus on 500 use cases by benchmarking their results with those from our previous surveys conducted regularly over the past 10 years. The 500 AP Automation use cases cover customers of all sizes(37% of which are under $100 million in revenues) across 21 verticals in 25 countries using AP Automation software from 38 vendors. Twenty-seven percent of these use cases have gone live since 2018, while the rest went live in prior years. Our research shows all these customers are still actively running these AP Automation tools.
Among the tangible results and implications highlighted by these customers in our study are:
- Spurred by relentless economic forces, invoicing processing is no longer a routine or predictable task for companies with some big organizations only managing a handful invoices in any given period to a fast-growing telecommunications providers in Sweden scrambling to catch up with 40,000 invoices each week.
- The average number of invoices is about 3,000 a week among these 500 surveyed companies.
- Adopting AP Automation helps companies reduce average invoice processing time by 34%, compared with manual procedures.
- A Military Service director of procurements and contract management said its AP Automation project has helped to reduce invoice cycle times to 2.7 days using community benchmarking while helping US troops get the goods and services they need at all times.
- Manual processes amount to $10 to $20 per invoice as surveyed companies reported significant cost reductions both in actual costs by eliminating printing expenses and time spent on the end to end process from capturing to approving invoices.
- A large car dealership in Texas used to spend 160+ hours printing, signing, folding, stuﬃng and mailing 1,200+ checks every month. The use of AP Automation has cut 1,100 hours of manual payments, allowing its AP professionals to focus on more strategic tasks like reporting and reconciliation.
- Top line gains can be realized after adopting AP Automation to receive on-time payment rebates with one health-care provider realizing an average of $65,500 in such working capital incentives from its suppliers.
- A consulting firm cites the use of Artificial Intelligence Assistant is learning its invoice processing pattern that could greatly improve its account-payables business process.
- With its workforce becoming more mobile than ever, a research institute in San Francisco turns to AP Automation to process payments quickly and efficiently to prevent disruptions to its field research.
- A non-profit organization reported using AP Automation and storing all documentation electronically has made information sharing much easier, even with its 20 fundraising staffers who travel or work from remote offices.
- A real-estate agency in Texas recommends AP Automation as a prerequisite for any company needing to be prepared for emergencies that may require a remote work setting.
As a CFO at a Danish communications company points out in our study, he could have chosen a lesser expensive or functionally-rich AP Automation tool since its workload has yet to hit thousands of invoices every week. Still, the decision to invest in a best of breed software product for AP Automation is not considered an overkill because it makes its money back in all the time he does not need to spend.
Such customer sentiments encapsulate the gist of running Enterprise Essentials – software tools that automatically manifest themselves in terms of time not being wasted on arduous and repetitive tasks that yield little business value. AP Automation is emerging to be a key component of the next Enterprise Essentials for companies that need to optimize their efficiency, achieve agility as a competitive advantage, while discovering the workplace is likely to change for good with the current downturn and any natural and health crisis that could cause unforeseen dislocation in the future.
The AP Automation study illustrates the importance of not just keeping up with industry best practices, but also the courage and willingness of jettisoning outdated systems and procedures that are no longer meeting the needs of customers, suppliers and employees.
Figure 1 – Profiles of 500 AP Automation Implementations by Size (Employees, Revenue)
Figure 2 – Profiles of 500 AP Automation Implementations by Employee Count
Figure 3 – Profiles of 500 AP Automation Implementations by Revenue Range
Figure 4 – Top Reasons for AP Automation By Company Revenues, %
|$1-$10 Million||$10M- $100M||$101M – $1B||$1B+|
|Elimination of Manual Procedures and Paperwork||70%||80%||79%||79%|
|Time to process a single invoice||84%||79%||76%||77%|
|Real Time Analytics and Transparency||35%||53%||53%||60%|
|Outgrown Legacy System||20%||8%||9%||11%|
|Remote, Reliable and Secure||42%||41%||42%||32%|
|Data Workflow and OCR||58%||63%||71%||64%|
|Lower Processing Costs||19%||25%||37%||51%|
|Increase Efficiency and Performance||77%||91%||89%||87%|
|Reduce Payment Risk||19%||25%||19%||22%|
|Improve Internal Accounting Controls||27%||27%||30%||29%|
|Agility, Adaptability and Scalability||55%||56%||59%||59%|
|Content Collaboration and Business Relationship||9%||15%||24%||27%|
|User Experience (UX)||51%||52%||46%||37%|
|ERP Integration and Data Interoperability||51%||54%||63%||58%|
Source: Apps Run The World AP Automation Study, May 2020
Figure 5 – Industry of 500 AP Automation Implementations
|Banking and Financial Services||6%|
|Construction and Real Estate||7%|
|Consumer Packaged Goods||5%|
|Leisure and Hospitality||5%|
|Oil, Gas and Chemicals||5%|
Source: Apps Run The World AP Automation Study, May 2020
Figure 6 – Top Reasons for AP Automation By Industry
|Industry||Elimination of Manual Procedures and Paperwork||Time to process a single invoice||Increase Efficiency and Performance|
|Aerospace and Defense||50%||100%||50%|
|Banking and Financial Services||83%||67%||83%|
|Construction and Real Estate||81%||89%||94%|
|Consumer Packaged Goods||67%||83%||92%|
|Leisure and Hospitality||91%||91%||96%|
|Oil, Gas and Chemicals||84%||72%||92%|
Source: Apps Run The World AP Automation Study, May 2020
Figure 7 – Country of the 500 Surveyed Companies
Figure 8 – Top Reasons for AP Automation By Country
|Country||Elimination of Manual Procedures and Paperwork||Time to process a single invoice||Increase Efficiency and Performance|
Source: Apps Run The World AP Automation Study, May 2020
Follow the link below for methodology of the study and the Taxonomy and Market Definitions documents:
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