The accounts payable profession is becoming more aware of automation options and what they can mean for cash management, according to results of this annual study by The Institute of Financial Operations. Although respondents to the survey conducted in mid-2014 show AP departments are still heavily reliant on paper, they are watching a steady stream of developments in existing and emerging technologies.
Respondents ranged from finance executives to shared services directors to AP managers and other titles. Only about 9 percent reported that their operations are highly automated, receiving less than 10 percent of their invoices on paper. On the flip side, about 29 percent said paper accounts for more than 90 percent of their invoices.
That means most companies whose representatives responded to the survey remain in the awkward middle — not yet fully automated, but rather navigating the sometimes turbulent waters of change.
This year's survey of financial operations professionals delved deeper to get answers to key questions such as:
- How automated are AP departments?
- Which technologies are seeing the highest adoption rates?
- What are the costs to process paper versus electronic invoices?
The survey also looked ahead, querying participants about their companies' top technology priorities for the coming year as well as the obstacles they anticipate facing.