Benchmarking research into the finance function of global business organisation by Readsoft suggests adoption of automated processes in conjunction with invoice processing could help businesses cut cost per procurement to 92 per cent lower than the average.
According to the research which benchmarked over 4,000 organisations around the globe, companies worldwide spend £15.5 -18.5b interpreting and entering business information: 80 per cent of this is unstructured. Finance departments bear much of the brunt of this in the form of invoice transactions.
World class companies (those scoring in the top percentile of performance studies) process more than 41,000 invoices per full time equivalent (FTE) employee in the finance department. Yet the overall median for accounts payable (AP) per FTE is just 11,000, and for companies with less than £1.85bn turnover this falls to 8,000 per FTE, more than halving the department’s efficiency.
What still holds many companies back is the volume of accounts payable transactions that remain paper based as opposed to electronic. Top performing companies have double the number of electronic transactions than paper (120,000 versus 60,000), with pdf based invoicing the fastest growing and most preferred option. But the overall median suggests most finance departments still deal with similar numbers of electronic and paper invoices (60,000 electronic versus 70,000 paper based transactions). To deliver better managed accounts departments, organisations need to be able to deal seamlessly with any transactional format, whether paper or electronic.
Simon Shorthose, Managing Director, Readsoft UK said: “ReadSoft’s capability to automate all document handling, offering a blended model regardless of format and media, enables companies to transition to hybrid models that equally encompass paper and electronic invoicing. This then delivers greater integration of Business Process Management and data capture and leads to world class operations.”