Invoice and Workflow Automation Benchmark Report

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1 Invoice and Workflow Automation Benchmark Report Based on the Results of PayStream s 2013 IWA Survey Q Featuring Insights on... Current AP Automation Trends Underwritten in part by AP Challenges and Automation Goals Adoption of Front-End Imaging Solutions Automated Workflow Adoption Invoice Processing Costs

2 Table of Contents Table of Contents...B Introduction...1 Executive Summary...2 Survey Respondents...3 Survey Results...6 AP Challenges and Automation Goals...8 The Paper Jam...11 AP Automation From Front to Back...14 Automated Workflow Adoption...19 The Impact of Company Size and AP Automation...22 ACOM Solutions...25 Conclusion...26 PayStream Advisors, Inc...27

3 Introduction PayStream Advisors is pleased to publish the 11th edition of the Invoice and Workflow Automation (IWA) Benchmark report. This report provides a comparative look at the past two years and reveals front-end imaging, automated workflow and electronic invoicing trends, as identified by accounts payable (AP) professionals. Consistent with the 2012 IWA report, AP automation continues to increase across the board. Survey results reveal that paper invoices continue to decline as electronic invoicing (einvoicing) gains more traction. Front-end imaging solutions increased by four percent from 44 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2013, and approval workflow solutions increased by 2 percent. While large companies still lead the pack in AP automation, small and medium enterprises (SME) are gaining traction. In fact, PayStream research shows that the biggest gain in automation came from medium sized companies adopting front-end imaging up from 51 percent in 2012 to 58 percent in SME s are embracing AP automation as they strive to migrate from a manual paperbased invoice system to an efficient automated system. Solution providers have made AP automation more attractive to the SME market with affordable, easy-to-use and easy-to-implement technology solutions. Cloud-based and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications are also helping to pave the way in AP automation in the SME market. The market for AP automation continues to open up as companies large and small adopt solutions that eliminate the vast majority of challenges that AP faces in their dayto-day operations, including late payments, missed discounts, long invoice processing cycles, manual data entry, lack of visibility, and high discrepancies, just to name a few.

4 Executive Summary Seeking to gain insight into current trends in front-end imaging, automated workflow and electronic invoice adoption, PayStream Advisors conducted an in-depth survey among accounts payable professionals. This report contains the results. Among key findings in the 2013 Invoice and Workflow Automation survey: Over one-third (35 percent) of companies have made significant investments in AP automation, and 23 percent are currently evaluating the use of AP automation technology. The majority of invoices received in paper format remain the number one challenge in the invoice management process 50 percent. Manual data entry and inefficient processes ranked second with 37 percent. The top financial automation goal for 2013 is the implementation of an automated approval workflow for invoices 33 percent. Increasing electronic invoicing ranked second at 29 percent, and automating payment processing ranked third at 18 percent. Over one-third (36 percent) of companies have already started implementing their top AP automation initiative, and 52 percent have plans to do so within the next year. As electronic invoicing continues to gain more traction, paper invoices continue to decline from 59 percent in 2012 to 52 percent in Supplier resistance (22 percent) and the belief that current processes work (22 percent) ranked as the top two challenges to the adoption of electronic invoicing. The adoption of front-end imaging solutions continue rise up four percent from 44 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in Top barriers to the adoption of imaging solutions include the belief that current processes work (32 percent), lack of budget (31 percent), and no executive sponsorship (14 percent). Quicker approval of invoices ranked as the top benefit achieved by implementing an imaging solution - 59 percent. Adoption of approval workflow solutions continues to rise up 2 percent from 35 percent in 2012 to 37 percent in Based on the results of PayStream Advisors 2013 Invoice and Workflow Automation survey of over 200 accounts payable professionals at U.S. based enterprises, AP professionals are encouraged to explore front-end imaging, automated workflow and electronic invoice solutions with the goal of reduced processing costs, increased visibility, increased on-time payments and capture of supplier discounts, improved vendor satisfaction, fewer duplicate invoices, and a reduction in exceptions and discrepancies. Based on the number of survey respondents, PayStream believes that the survey has a confidence level of +/- 5 percent.

5 Survey Respondents Figure 1 What title best applies to your position within the company? AP Manager AP Director Procurement 9% 11% 49% CFO / President / Chairman 9% Controller 8% Vice President 3% Treasurer 3% Other, please specify 8% As expected, the vast majority (60 percent) of survey respondents were Accounts Payable managers and/or directors. Other titles with high response rates include Procurement (9 percent), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), President or Chairman (9 percent), and Controller (8 percent). Other titles are represented with fewer respondents, see Figure 1.

6 Figure 2 What industry is your company in? 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 3% 1% 2% 15% 9% Healthcare - 15% Consumer Products - 9% Professional Services - 8% Higher Education & Research - 8% Banking - 6% Wholesale Distribution - 6% Retail - 6% 3% Engineering & Construction - 5% High Tech - 5% 4% Utilities - 4% 8% Insurance - 4% 4% Automotive - 3% Public Sector - 3% 5% 5% 6% 6% 6% 8% Travel & Logistics Services - 3% Industrial Machinery - 3% Aerospace & Defense - 2% Telecommunications - 2% Chemicals - 2% Media - 1% Defense & Security -1 % Mining - 1% Life Sciences - 1% Other - 2% Invoice and Workflow Automation Adoption survey respondents come from a wide range of industries, with the largest segment (15 percent) consisting of people from the healthcare industry. Consumer Products (9 percent), Professional Services (8 percent), and Higher Education & Research (8 percent) represent fairly large segments. Remaining respondents drop off into a number of other industries, including Banking (6 percent), Wholesale Distribution (6 percent), Retail (6 percent), Engineering & Construction (5 percent) and High Tech (5 percent). Several notable industries are represented by 4 percent or less, please see Figure 2.

7 40% Figure 3 What was your organization s annual revenue in 2012? 21% 24% 15% Under $100 million $100 million to $499 million $500 million to $2.5 billion Over $2.5 billion Forty percent of companies that responded to the 2013 IWA survey were relatively small (under $100 million in annual revenue). Nearly one-quarter (21 percent) are companies with annual revenue between $100 million to $499 million. Twenty-four percent are larger companies $500 million to $2.5 billion, and the remaining survey respondents represent large companies with annual revenue over $2.5 billion (15 percent), see Figure 3. The largest percentage of respondents (40 percent) is from companies with annual revenue under $100 million. PayStream analysts attribute this to data showing that automation initiatives are now beginning to open up to the middle market. The advent of affordable and easy to implement Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions is gaining momentum in small to medium enterprises (SME). This has resulted in increased usage of AP automation in the SME market.

8 Survey Results Figure 4 Please choose the model 64% 68% that best describes your invoice receipt and payment process. 31% 26% 5% 6% Centralized (all invoices are received at a single location and paid from the same location) Partly centralized (invoices are sent to different locations, but paid from a single location) Decentralized (invoices are sent to different locations and paid from different locations) The growing emphasis on centralization continues as more companies migrate to a centralized system, where invoices are received and paid from a single location. From 2012 to 2013, centralized AP departments increased by 4 percent from 64 percent in 2012 to 68 percent in The increase in centralized AP departments resulted in the decrease in partly centralized, where invoices are sent to different locations, but are paid from a single location. Partly centralized AP departments decreased from 31 percent in 2012 to 26 percent in 2013, see Figure 4. More companies are moving away from partly centralized and decentralized models in an effort to reduce inaccurate financial reporting, redundant resources and departmental inconsistencies. Centralized models not only work to overcome these challenges but they also increase visibility into a company s outstanding liabilities and help foster improved supplier relationships, due to the simple fact that more invoices are paid on-time and are not lost in centralized models.

9 35% Figure 5 Relative to your peers, evaluate your 28% 29% 29% 30% organization s use of financial automation 23% technology. 13% 13% We are an innovator - we have made significant investments in automation We have adopted some advanced technology, but it is not widely used and has limited impact We are evaluating some advanced tools, but have not yet adopted them We have not evaluated financial automation technology and have no immediate plans to do so Among companies responding to the survey, 35 percent report they are innovators and have made significant investments in automation. This is a 7 percent increase from the 2012 IWA survey results, where only 28 percent of companies reported they were innovators. PayStream analysts attribute this increase to more companies migrating away from paper and implementing AP automation technology to streamline invoice processing. Companies reporting they have adopted some advanced technology, but it is not widely used and has limited impact remained the same year-over-year (29 percent). Companies evaluating advanced tools but have not yet adopted them decreased from 30 percent in 2012 to 23 percent in PayStream attributes this decrease to the increase in companies reporting they are innovators. The number of companies reporting they have not evaluated financial automation technology, and have no immediate plans to do so, remained the same from 2012 to 2013, at 13 percent, see Figure 5.

10 AP Challenges and Automation Goals Key Insights The biggest challenge in the invoice management process continues to be an over reliance on people and paper-based processes. This labor intensive, manual process leads to a high number of discrepancies and exceptions, which result in low productivity and higher costs to process an invoice. The 7 percent decrease in the number of discrepancies and exceptions from 2012 to 2013 can be attributed to the increase in electronic invoicing. PayStream analysts also attribute the decreases in manual data entry and lost or missing invoices to the increase in electronic invoicing. Automated approval workflow for invoices remains the top financial automation goal for 2013, beating out electronic invoicing for the second consecutive year. Factors Driving Interest in AP Automation Figure 6 Challenges in the Invoice Management Process Challenges are reduced across the board as paper invoices continue to decline. As the majority of invoices received on paper continues to decline (down 2 percent from 2012), the challenges in the invoice management process are also declining, see Figure 6. Majority of invoices received in paper format Manual data entry and inefficient processes Manual routing of invoices for approval % 33% 37% 40% 52% 50% High number of discrepancies and exceptions 12% 19% Inability to approve invoices in time to capture discounts Decentralized invoice receipt Lost or missing invoices Lack of visibility into outstanding liabilities 15% 15% 16% 12% 14% 13% 11% 8%

11 The reduction of paper invoices has led to significant process improvements, as more AP departments implement AP automation. As process improvements continue to increase, leading to greater accuracy and efficiency, momentum is continuing to build for broader applications of invoice management, including the ability to approve invoices in time to capture discounts, greater visibility into spending and improved cash management. The top financial automation goal remains automated approval workflow for invoices (33 percent in 2013), see Figure 7. More companies are now realizing the true value of workflow automation. A static electronic invoice isn t much better than a paper one. The true value of electronic invoicing lies in how successful companies are at assimilating invoice data into accounting systems and management workflows. This culture of integration yields the best return on investment. Figure 7 Top Financial Automation Goals for 2013 Automated workflow for invoices 29% 33% Increase electronic invoicing 28% 29% Implement invoice imaging 16% 19% Automate payment processing 14% 18% ERP application upgrade 3% 8% Outsource portions of AP process 2% 1% Automation priorities for 2013 include: 1. Automated approval of workflow for invoices, ranked as the top financial automation goal, up 4 percent from 29 percent in 2012 to 33 percent in Automated approval of workflow for invoices is the logical next step for companies that have implemented front-end electronic invoice systems. Companies are beginning to reap the rewards of implementing an electronic invoice solution and are now looking for ways to expand on their success through automated approval workflow for invoices.

12 2. Increasing electronic invoicing ranked as the top priority for 29 percent of survey respondents, up 1 percent from 28 percent in Automating payment processing (18 percent) beat implementing invoice imaging (16 percent) in 2013, as the top automation goal. PayStream attributes this change to the fact that many of the survey respondents that reported this was a top financial automation goal in 2012 implemented front-end invoice imaging over the past year, and are now focused on automating the entire Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process from invoice receipt to payment. Figure 8 Time Frame for Implementation of Top Automation Initiative 36% 33% Over half of financial automation projects are on deck to be started within one year. 19% 12% Already Started 1-6 Months 6-12 Months More than 12 Months Adoption rates continue to climb. According to 2013 IWA survey results, 36 percent of survey respondents have already started implementing their top automation initiative, and nearly half (52 percent) said they were likely to act on their top priority within the year, see Figure 8.

13 The Paper Jam Inefficient, paper-based invoice processing methods are still the primary method that businesses are utilizing to trade invoices, see Figure 9. However, there is a light at the end of the paper tunnel. The use of paper to trade invoices continues to decline from 59 percent in 2012 to 52 percent in As paper declines, the use of electronic invoicing continues to increase up 9 percent from 22 percent in 2012 to 31 percent in This is consistent with the 10 percent increase in electronic invoicing that PayStream witnessed from 2011 to PayStream anticipates the use of paper to trade invoices to continue to decline as more companies implement AP automation initiatives. Figure 9 Breakdown of Invoices via Receipt Method 59% 52% Paper invoices continue to decline as electronic invoicing gains more traction. 31% 22% 13% 12% 6% 5% Paper Electronic Invoice Portals / EDI Fax Invoice Automation Road Blocks Electronic invoicing is more efficient than paper. Why? A paper invoice requires manual processing, which leads to a number of problems including keying errors and lost or missing invoices, just to name a few. Routing paper invoices for approval is time consuming and leads to other problems downstream, including a lack of visibility into outstanding invoices and lack of ability to capture supplier discounts. With all the benefits of electronic invoicing, why is paper still the dominant method to trade B2B invoices? IWA survey respondents offered the following insights when asked what challenges they face in the adoption of electronic invoicing.

14 1. Supplier Resistance While the number one challenge to the adoption of einvoicing remains supplier resistance (22 percent), this challenge is starting to decrease, as more solution providers leverage free supplier portals, networks and aggressive supplier onboarding programs. 2. Belief that Current Processes Work This barrier tied supplier resistance as the top barrier to einvoicing 22 percent. In an effort to break down this barrier, change management champions must clearly identify the tangible benefits of electronic invoicing and communicate them efficiently. Benefits of einvoicing include: Get paid faster with invoices going straight to processing Cut costs and increase efficiency Track the status and increase visibility of every invoice for improved cash flow and working capital management Trade anywhere in the world with the correct sales tax automatically applied Easily add digital signatures to comply with policies and regulations Quickly resolve disputes and queries with collaboration features Boost your green credentials by eliminating paper immediately 3. Lack of Budget Nineteen percent of survey respondents reported lack of budget as a challenge to the adoption of einvoicing. With the explosion of cloud-based and SaaS solutions on the market today, the cost to implement an electronic invoice solution has been significantly lowered.

15 Figure 10 Challenges to the Adoption of Electronic Invoicing Supplier resistance and the belief that current processes work ranked as the top challenges to electronic invoice adoption. Supplier resistance Current processes work 20% We do not think there will be a ROI % 15% Lack of budget 16% 19% 22% 22% 25% Lack of resources to manage einvoice solution 18% 17% Lack of understanding of current available solutions 5% 6%

16 AP Automation From Front to Back Invoice imaging is often the first step in automating accounts payable. Imaging helps tackle the toughest part of a manual accounts payable process, which is paper. Once a paper invoice is translated into an electronic document, it becomes much easier to manage. Front-end imaging is the most beneficial, since it captures an invoice as soon as it enters the organization and can be easily tracked throughout the entire process. By connecting with an automated workflow system, the invoice approval and payment process increases, which leads to more on time payments and discounts captured. Key Insights Survey results reveal that companies are beginning to realize the benefits of an imaging solution at the front-end of the invoice processing cycle as witnessed by the 4 percent increase in front-end imaging. Back-end invoice imagining continues to decline from 20 percent in 2012 to 15 percent in 2013, as more companies implement front-end imaging to increase invoice cycle times and efficiency. Fewer companies (4 percent in 2013) compared to 6 percent in 2012 report they do not have an imaging solution and have no plans to implement one. As reported in the 2012 IWA Benchmark report, this trend is continuing to decline as companies learn that front-end imaging is the starting point of AP automation. Figure 11 Adoption of Imaging Solutions Front-end imaging continues to increase. We currently use an imaging solution - we image invoices at the front-end as soon as they are received. We currently use an imaging solution - but we only use imaging at the back-end to archive invoice images % 20% 44% 48% We are currently deploying an imaging solution and will go live in the next 6 months. 10% 12% We are considering implementing a front-end imaging solution. 20% 21% We do not have an imaging solution and have no plans to implement one. 4% 6%

17 The increase in the adoption of front-end imaging solutions (up 4 percent from 44 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2013), coupled with the 5 percent decrease in imaging at the back end, shows that companies are moving in the right direction, see Figure 11. Front-end document and data capture represents a quantum leap over back-end imaging because it sets up genuine improvements to the invoice receipt-to-pay cycle. This is truly the starting place for workflow automation. One-quarter of survey respondents reported they do not have an imaging solution. Top reasons organizations have not implemented an imaging solution include: 1. Belief that current processes work 2. Lack of budget 3. No executive sponsorship Figure 12 Barriers to the Adoption of Imaging Solutions The belief that current processes work is the top barrier to the adoption of imaging solutions. As seen in Figure 12, barriers to front-end invoice imaging have shifted in the past year. Organizations that do not have an imaging solution rank the belief that current processes work (31 percent) as the number one barrier. Change management is never an easy process. Internal resistance to change and the persistent insistence that current paper-based processes work, even though they are not the most efficient, means that solution providers and change management champions must clearly identify the tangible benefits of invoice automation and communicate them efficiently. The clear communication and understanding of the benefits will impact many of the barriers including no executive sponsorship, lack of understanding of current available solutions and the belief that current processes work. Lack of budget We do not think there will be an ROI % 14% 31% 40% No executive sponsorship 10% 14% Lack of understanding of current available solutions 6% 10% Lack of technical resources to manage an automated solution 5% 5% Current processes work 10% 32%

18 Data Capture with Imaging Solutions PayStream analysts attribute the steady increase in front-end imaging solutions to improvements in invoice pre-processing and data capture tools. Invoice preprocessing is the methodology for using data capture and pre-defined business rules to allow the majority of invoices to bypass accounts payable. By bypassing AP, invoices go directly to workflow for coding and approval, and are completely automated with PO or contract matching, and go directly to the ERP. PayStream research shows that in 2013, 48 percent of survey respondents reported 100 percent accuracy, meaning they had no manual corrections in data entry. This number increased from 42 percent in The number of companies utilizing front-end imaging, that required manual data entry on over 75 percent of scanned invoices dropped from 17 percent in 2012 to 14 percent in 2013, see Figure 13. As solutions continue to mature and improve, electronic data capture accuracy rates will continue to increase, resulting in less manual keying. Figure 13 Front-End Imaging with Manual Data Entry 42% 48% As data capture accuracy rates continue to increase, the need for manual correction (keying) will continue to 23% decrease. 19% 17% 12% 14% 14% 7% 5% Zero (None) 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% More than 75%

19 56% Figure 14 48% Front-End Imaging with OCR / IDR The use of front-end imaging with OCR/IDR increased by 8 percent from 2012 to % 8% 9% 17% 19% 24% 3% 3% Zero (None) 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% More than 75% PayStream predicts that as the tools and technologies that facilitate the extraction of information from scanned invoice images continue to improve, adoption rates will continue to climb. Survey results show that more companies are now utilizing front-end imaging with automated data capture up 8 percent in just one year, see Figure 14. PayStream research shows that the percentage of companies relying on automated data capture, either Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or Intelligent Data Recognition (IDR), for more than half their invoice volume increased by 13 percent from 28 percent in 2012 to 41 percent in 2013.

20 Benefits Achieved through the Implementation of an Imaging Solution Quicker approval of invoices ranked as the top benefit achieved by implementing an imaging solution 59 percent. Increased employee productivity ranked second at 47 percent and lower processing costs ranked third at 33 percent, see Figure 15. Figure 15 Benefits Achieved by Implementing an Imaging Solution Quicker approval cycles ranked as the top benefit to the implementation of an imaging solution. Quicker approval of invoices Increased employee productivity Lower processing costs Fewer lost invoices 33% 31% 47% 59% Improved visibility over liabilities 22% Reduction in late payment penalties and interest 16% Better compliance with regulatory requirements (SOX, FASB) 9%

21 Automated Workflow Adoption Key Insights Implementation of automated workflow solutions continues to increase (up 2 percent to 37 percent in 2013), as more companies automate the invoice receipt and approval process. Companies reporting they do not have a workflow solution and have no plans to implement one dropped from 15 percent in 2012 to 8 percent in PayStream attributes this decrease to the increase in front-end imaging and data capture solutions that are combined with electronic invoicing and workflow capabilities. Expedited invoice approval (78 percent) and lower processing costs (61 percent) ranked as top benefits to approval workflow. The current trend that PayStream analysts are witnessing in invoice automation adoption is the integration of frond-end document imaging and data capture with electronic invoicing and workflow capabilities to streamline and automate invoice receipt and approval processing. As front-end imaging and einvoicing continue to increase, PayStream expects approval workflow adoption to continue to climb as well. Thirty-seven percent of IWA survey respondents report they currently use an approval workflow solution, up from 35 percent in 2012, see Figure 16. The number of survey respondents that are considering an approval workflow solution increased from 34 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2013, and those reporting they do not have a workflow solution and have no plans to implement one dropped from 15 percent in 2012 to only 8 percent in 2013.

22 Figure 16 Adoption of Approval Workflow Solutions We currently use an approval workflow solution. 35% 37% Adoption of approval workflow solutions continue to rise. We are currently deploying an approval workflow solution and will go live in the next 6 months. 16% 17% We are considering implementing an approval workflow solution. 34% 38% We do not have a workflow solution and have no plans to implement one. 8% 15% Workflow solutions enable AP departments to define how different types of invoices are processed. PO-based invoices can be matched against the purchase order and receipt documents automatically, while non-po invoices can be routed to the person or people who are required to approve them. All tasks are routed based on pre-defined business rules, and user roles and access rights can be set to match the organization s existing approval hierarchy.

23 The implementation of an automated workflow system removes the friction of paper invoice workflow and speeds up the invoice approval and payment process. As the implementation of automated workflow increases, more companies are witnessing the benefits of invoice approval workflow, see Figure 17. According to PayStream survey results, the biggest benefit achieved through the implementation of approval workflow is quicker approval of invoices (78 percent). The benefit of reduced of late payment penalties and interest jumped from 20 percent in 2012 to 39 percent in Figure 17 Benefits of Approval Workflow Quicker invoice approval cycles remains the top benefit to approval workflow. Quicker approval of invoices Increased employee productivity 50% 51% 75% 78% Improved visibility over liabilities 33% 38% Lower processing costs 58% 61% Reduction in late payment penalties and interest 20% 39% Better compliance with regulatory requirements (SOX, FASB) 14% 13%

24 The Impact of Company Size and AP Automation Key Insights Medium sized companies witnessed the biggest gain in automation with the adoption of front-end imaging solutions up 7 percent from 2012 to As the SME market continues to adopt AP automation to reap the rewards of the large, early adopters, PayStream predicts front-end imaging will continue to increase in medium sized companies. Invoice processing costs have reduced in companies of all sizes; however, large companies continue to lead the pack in controlling invoice processing costs. Classification by Company Size PayStream analysts classified companies that participated in the survey based on annual revenues to identify whether this parameter had any effect on the functioning of the AP department as well as the organization s adoption of technology. For further analysis, organizations that had less than $500 million in revenues were classified as small, those with revenues between $500 million and $2.5 billion were classified as medium, and companies with revenues over $2.5 billion were categorized as large. Sixty-one percent of survey participants were from small companies, 24 percent were from medium companies, and the remaining 15 percent were from large companies. When compared to 2012 IWA survey responses, the adoption of front-end imaging and workflow technologies increased across the board. The biggest gain in automation came from medium companies adopting front-end imaging, up from 51 percent in 2012 to 58 percent in Front-end imaging increased in both large and small companies as well. Large companies witnessed a 6 percent increase in front-end imaging and small companies reported a 4 percent increase, see Figure 18. As expected, back-end imaging continues to decrease, as front-end imaging continues to gains momentum. Large companies witnessed the largest increase in automated workflow, up 5 percent from 2012 to The use of automated workflow increased 4 percent in medium companies, and small companies witnessed a 2 percent increase from 2012 to 2013.

25 Large Medium Small Figure 18 Adoption of Imaging and Workflow Technologies by 68% 58% 64% 50% Company Size While large companies 34% lead the pack in automation, small 27% 25% companies are quick to embrace automated 16% 15% workflow. Front-End Imaging Back-End Imaging Automated Workflow Invoice Processing Costs Invoice processing costs by company size are down across the board, which indicates that more companies (small, medium and large) are implementing automation solutions. As more companies continue to adopt AP automation, invoice processing costs will continue to decrease tremendously. According to the 2013 IWA survey results, large companies are leading the pack in controlling processing costs. Large companies reported $9.57 in 2012, as the average cost to process an invoice; this number has been reduced to $8.32 in Medium companies report $9.70 and small companies report $14.04 as the average cost to process an invoice, see Figure 19. It s not surprising that manual, paper-based processes still dominate in many small and medium AP functions, where human and capital resources are limited. Therefore, invoice processing costs in small companies is higher than medium and large companies.

26 Figure 19 $14.85 $ Average Cost to Process an Invoice by Company Size $10.02 $9.70 $9.57 The average cost to $8.32 process an invoice continues to decrease as more companies implement AP automation solutions. Small Medium Large In addition to leading the pack in the adoption of imaging and workflow technologies, large companies continue to rank highest in the adoption of other accounts payable technologies, including purchasing cards, electronic invoicing, and electronic payments, see Figure 20. Figure 20 Adoption of AP Large Medium Small Technologies by Company Size 64% 59% 59% 60% Large companies are leading the pack in purchasing card, einvoice and epayment adoption. 36% 46% 38% 32% 53% 41% 20% 13% Purchasing Cards einvoicing via EDI einvoicing via Network Electronic Payments

27 ACOM Solutions For over 25 years, ACOM has helped companies automate their paper-based Accounts Payable processes from invoice receipt, routing and approval, storage and retrieval, to payment processing. With over 4,000 customers worldwide, ACOM s multi-platform solutions add value to an organization s existing ERP systems. ACOM s multi-platform solutions improve document- intensive processes, including AP, by enabling clients to reduce cycle times, lower costs, improve visibility and greatly enhance overall operational efficiency. ACOM s EZCM platform, provides clients with the benefits of an Enterprisewide Content Management solution with instant and secure access to all business information assets. A compliance-ready platform, EZCM provides organizations end-toend document life-cycle management with version control, full audit capabilities and document retention management. ACOM s end-to-end AP automation solutions allow companies to go paperless from day one. Their flexible architecture enables organizations to automate the entire AP process by choosing those steps that should be managed internally, versus those that are better processed by external, best of breed resources. This is an added benefit for companies with small IT departments, allowing users to focus on their core business duties, rather than solution deployment. ACOM s AP automation solution brings the document and payment process automation functionality usually offered to Tier 1 business users to the mid-market user, affordably and efficiently. Website Founded 1983 Headquarters Other Locations Employees 125 End Users Target Verticals Solution Name Key Accounts Long Beach, CA Duluth, GA; Phoenix, AZ 4,000 total customers worldwide / 400 AP automation customers Solution marketed horizontally. ACOM has concentrations of customers in many vertical markets. EZContentManager, EZPaySuite, EasyAccessAP Black & Decker, Princess Tours, Air France, Jockey International, Smithsonian Enterprises, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wells Fargo

28 Conclusion More small and medium sized enterprises are implementing invoice automation and workflow solutions to reap the rewards that the large early adopters witnessed. As adoption of AP automation increases, the drivers leading to adoption are continuing to evolve from an efficiency standpoint to more strategic and tactical benefits that include spend visibility for accurate forecasting, cash management, increased control of the entire invoice process, and improved vendor relationships. PayStream analysts point to four main factors that continue to drive AP automation: 1. Cash Management/Working Capital Invoice automation pays dividends to both buyers and suppliers in the form of liquidity and control. Through automation, buyers can manage their free cash and invest it for big returns in the form of earlypayment discounts to suppliers. Suppliers benefit by the accelerated collection of receivables. 2. Data Analytics Automated invoice processing solutions brings increased visibility into all invoices, which allows for greater control of cash flow and working capital management. Powerful reports can be quickly generated and used to make highly data-driven business decisions. Companies that harness this data are able to quickly drill down into report details with increasing granularity and accuracy for fast, effective decision making. 3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions have worked to significantly lower the cost of implementing an einvoice and workflow solution. SaaS solutions are vendor maintained and updated, which provides users with the latest functionality with minimal commitment of IT resources. 4. Ease-of-Use Today s turnkey purchase-to-pay solutions eliminate disparate legacy solutions, simplifying the approval process and moving documents along with clear rules, permissions and escalations to ensure that invoices get to the right people, arrive on schedule, and get paid on-time. The powerful functionality and usability of today s automation solutions allow for wide-spread adoption in companies of all sizes. Mobile functionality enables managers who travel to use their mobile device to approve an invoice for payment. This enhanced workflow functionality keeps invoices moving seamlessly through the system. The age of AP automation is here and PayStream predicts the use of paper to trade invoices will continue to decline as front-end imaging, electronic invoicing and automated workflow continue to gain traction.

29 PayStream Advisors, Inc. PayStream Advisors is a technology research and consulting firm that improves the way companies plan, evaluate, and select emerging technologies to achieve their business objectives. PayStream Advisors assists clients in sorting through the growing complexities of IT applications related to business process automation with the goal of making objective, analytical, and actionable recommendations. Wherever business process automation technology is an issue, PayStream Advisors is there to help. For more information, call (704) or visit the PayStream Advisors Research Vault.

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