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Bringing Excitement Back to Accounts Payable

A few years back, I was doing a visit with a customer. We were meeting with various departments to review their processes to determine if there was room for improvement. When we got to accounting, a young man walked in and said "Hi, I'm the Lead AP Clerk - I'm bringing Excitement Back to Accounts Payable". To this day I laugh whenever I think of that. Not sure the word "excitement" has ever been used to define Accounts Payable. But maybe it should.

Paper-based Accounts Payable hasn't changed much in the last 20 years. The 3-way match process can be tedious. You start by retrieving the packing slip and purchase order from the filing cabinet, making copies, and then checking for and reconciling differences between those two documents and the vendor invoice. Many systems allow for the 3-way on the screen, allowing the AP clerk to post the vendor invoice and link it to the receipt record and PO. But there is still a tremendous amount of manual labor. But what if you could automate this process? What if you could "Bring Excitement Back to Accounts Payable". 

Epicor DocStar Enterprise Content Management is a powerful, easy-to-use comprehensive enterprise content management and process automation solution. DocStar AP Automation is a process automation solution designed to manage large volumes of AP Invoices and associated content. It involves automatically capturing, indexing, and entering AP Invoices into your Prophet 21 system. This streamlines the process and more importantly can dramatically reduce the costs. 

According to Ardent Partner's research, the average cost to process a fully-loaded invoice is $14.21, which includes costs related to AP staff time, managerial overhead, facilities and IT support.  However the costs can vary substantially from business to business. The Top 20% of performers, considered Best-in-Class, have a cost per invoice of $2.42, or 86% less than all other organizations. 

Assuming a 1,000 invoice sample, Best-in-Class cost per invoice is $2.42 while all other organizations experience an average cost per invoice of $17.61. So, for every 1,000 invoices this works out to a cost of $2,420 for the Best-in-Class and $17,610 for all others. Best-in-Class pays, on average, about $15,000 less to process 1,000 invoices. That kind of savings adds up quickly and over time puts significant amounts of money back into the business. "Bringing excitement back in Accounts Payable", it still makes me laugh.

Posted by Tony Corley, Sr. Manager Product Marketing, Epicor


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