1 Electronic Invoice Adoption Benchmark Report Based on the Results of PayStream s einvoice Survey Q Featuring Insights on... Centralized vs. Decentralized AP Operations Underwritten in part by AP Automation Goals Electronic Invoice Automation Goals Currently Utilized AP Automation Technologies Benefits of Electronic Invoicing
2 Table of Contents Introduction...1 Executive Summary...2 Survey Respondents...3 Survey Results...6 Conclusion...20 Hubwoo About PayStream Advisors...22
3 Introduction PayStream Advisors is pleased to publish the 11th edition of the Electronic Invoice Adoption Benchmarking report. This report provides a comparative look at the past two years and reveals electronic invoicing trends, as identified by accounts payable professionals. Consistent with the 2012 Electronic Invoice Benchmark report, electronic invoice automation continues to increase, and nearly a quarter (24 percent) of survey respondents report they are currently utilizing an einvoice solution. In addition, 11 percent report they are currently deploying a solution and an exorbitant 46 percent are evaluating the usage of an einvoice solution. Electronic invoicing adoption has been of keen interest among suppliers and the number of suppliers converting to electronic invoicing has increased. Today, suppliers send more invoices to companies in electronic format that do not require data entry, resulting in a more efficient and cost saving invoice process. New innovations in electronic invoice functionality including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), free supplier portals, dynamic discounting and mobile transactional capabilities, are now opening up the middle market. PayStream is now witnessing a move from large early electronic invoice adopters into the middle market of small and mediumsized enterprises(sme). Electronic invoice technology has been proven and the results of the larger companies are there for all to see. The challenge now is to replicate those results across a broader spectrum of SME s. The market for electronic invoicing is opening up. Currently at $280 million, PayStream predicts demand is growing at a compound average annual growth rate of 13 percent. PayStream anticipates seeing the majority of this growth in SME s, as electronic invoicing trickles down from the large, early adopters.
4 Executive Summary Seeking to gain insights and current trends in electronic invoice (einvoice) adoption, electronic payments (epayments) adoption, and emerging working capital solutions, PayStream Advisors conducted an in-depth survey among Accounts Payable professionals. This report contains the results. Among key findings in the 2012 Electronic Invoice Survey:»» More companies are migrating to a centralized system, where invoices are approved and paid from one central location.»» The top accounts payable automation goal for 2012 was electronic invoicing, with 37 percent of survey respondents reporting einvoicing as their top goal.»» Over a quarter of survey respondents report they would like to achieve at least 75 percent electronic invoicing technology.»» The top factor driving organizations to focus on electronic invoices is the reduction in overall processing costs.»» Purchasing cards represent the most widely used technology with 86 percent adoption rate.»» Electronic payments are widely adopted with an 84 percent adoption rate.»» Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of survey respondents are currently utilizing electronic invoicing and 46 percent are currently evaluating the usage of einvoicing.»» Fifty-six percent of survey respondents ranked the reduction in procure-to-pay cycle time as the top benefit achieved from the usage of electronic invoicing.»» The top barrier to electronic invoicing is the shortage of IT resources 64 percent. This is a dramatic increase from only 7 percent in 2011.»» The primary method used to trade business-to-business invoices is paper at 59 percent.»» Large companies (companies with revenues over $1 billion) have higher automation adoption rates which have resulted in the reduced volume of paper invoices in Large companies. Based on the results of PayStream s Electronic Invoice survey of over 300 accounts payable and procurement professionals at U.S. based enterprises, AP professionals are encouraged to explore 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 / Director Shared Services 11% 47% Procurement 9% CFO / President / Chairman 8% Vice President 5% Treasurer 3% Controller 15% Other, please specify 2% As expected, the vast majority (47 percent) of survey respondents were Accounts Payable managers and/or directors. Other titles with high response rates include Controller (15 percent) and Shared Services (11 percent). Other titles are represented with fewer respondents, see Figure 1.
6 Figure 2 What industry is your company in? 2% 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 3% 4% 6% 6% 8% 1% 9% 9% 27% 10% Healthcare - 27% Consumer Products - 10% Professional Services - 9% Retail - 9% Banking - 8% Travel & Logistics Services - 6% High Tech - 6% Life Sciences - 4% Higher Education & Research - 3% Utilities - 3% Wholesale Distribution - 3% Oil & Gas - 2% Engineering & Construction - 2% Insurance - 2% Telecommunications - 2% Public Sector - 1% Media - 1% Automotive - 1% Chemicals - 1% Industrial Machinery - 0% Mining - 0% Mill Products - 0% Aerospace & Defense - 0% Defense & Security - 0 % Respondents come from a wide range of industries, with the largest segment (27 percent) consisting of people from the healthcare industry. Consumer Products (10 percent), Professional Services (9 percent), Retail (9 percent) and Banking (8 percent) represent fairly large segments. Remaining respondents drop off into a number of other industries, including Travel & Logistics Services (6 percent), tied with High- Tech (6 percent). Several notable industries are represented by 4 percent or less of respondents, including Life Sciences (4 percent), Wholesale Distribution (3 percent), Utilities (3 percent), and Higher Education and Research (3 percent). A few industries did not register at all in the 2012 einvoice survey, please see Figure 2.
7 36% Figure 3 What is your company s annual revenue? 26% 24% 14% Under $250 Million $250 Million to $1 Billion $1 Billion to $2.5 Billion Over $2.5 Billion More than one-third (36 percent) of companies responding to the survey are relatively small (under $250 million in annual revenue). Over a quarter (26 percent) are larger companies ($250 million to $1 billion) and close to a quarter (24 percent) represents the largest annual revenue (over $2.5 billion). PayStream analysts attribute the largest percentage of respondents (36 percent) come from companies with annual revenue under $250 million due to automation initiatives beginning to open up to the middle market. Survey results throughout this report support this finding.
8 Survey Results Figure 4 Please choose the model that best describes your Accounts Payable operation. 66% 27% 6% 1% Decentralized Invoices are received, approved, and paid at different locations Partly Centralized Invoices are received at multiple facilities but paid centrally Centralized Invoices are approved and paid centrally We outsource our invoice receipt and payment process The growing emphasis on centralization continues as more companies migrate to a centralized system, where invoices are approved and paid from one central location. From 2011 survey results to 2012, centralized AP departments increased by 9 percent, from 57 percent in 2011 to 66 percent in More companies are moving away from decentralized models due to the increased potential for inaccurate financial reporting, redundant resources and fewer departmental consistencies. 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 invoices are paid on-time and are not lost in centralized models.
9 34% Figure 5 31% Relative to your peers, evaluate your organization s use of financial automation technology. 28% 7% 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, 31 percent report they are innovators and have made significant investments in automation. The largest (34 percent) of respondents reported they have adopted some technology but it is not widely used and has limited impact. Over one-quarter (28 percent) report they are evaluating some advanced tools, but have not yet adopted them and the remaining amount (7 percent) have not evaluated financial automation technology and have no immediate plans to do so. PayStream analysts predicts that companies reporting they are innovators and have made significant investments in automation will increase tremendously over the next couple of years as the middle market continues to open and einvoicing adoption becomes standard practice among SMEs.
10 Electronic invoicing via EDI 16% Figure 6 Please select your top automation goal for the accounts payable department for Electronic invoicing via portal or network Front-end imaging 8% 21% Automated workflow 18% Electronic payments 22% Purchasing cards 15% Survey results reveal that electronic invoicing via EDI and portal ranks as the top AP automation goal (37 percent). Electronic payments ranked second at 22 percent. Automated workflow ranked third at 18 percent; with increased usage of purchasing cards close behind at 15 percent. Fewer respondents ranked Front-end imaging (8 percent) as their top automation goal in Automated workflow ranked high at 18 percent, revealing that more companies are realizing the 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. As electronic invoicing increases, PayStream analysts predict that automated workflow will increase as well.
11 50% Figure 7 Does your organization have any goals related to the adoption of electronic invoicing technology? 26% 10% 10% 4% Achieve at least 75 percent electronic Achieve at least 50 percent electronic Achieve at least 40 percent electronic We don't have a specific goal We aren't considering any electronic invoice technologies As seen in Figure 6, the biggest automation goal for 2012 was the implementation of electronic invoicing. Figure 7 shows that while the majority of survey respondents do not have a specific einvoicing goal in mind, over a quarter (26 percent) report they would like to achieve at least 75 percent electronic.
12 Reduce overall processing costs (staff, processing etc.) 68% Figure 8 What are the top three (3) factors driving your organization to focus on electronic invoices? Speed up invoice approval cycle times Reduce lost invoices Remove paper from A/P department 28% 46% 52% Better cash management (discount capture, penalty avoidance, on-time payment) 35% Strengthen supplier relationships 5% Improve visibility into spend 24% Better invoice audit capabilities 16% Obtaining incremental supplier dynamic discounts 9% A reduction in overall processing costs, including full time employees, postal costs, etc., is currently driving survey respondents to focus on the adoption of electronic invoicing 68 percent. The second driving factor is removing paper from the AP department (52 percent), followed by speeding up the invoice approval cycle time at 46 percent both of which will increase efficiency and help increase the supplier discount capture rate.
13 Figure Results Using Implementing in 6 months 2012 Results Using Implementing in 6 months Please choose what AP automation technologies your company is currently utilizing and what technologies you plan on implementing within the next 6 months. 84% 84% 86% 83% 62% 58% 53% 55% 37% 38% 30% 31% 29% 27% 24% 17% 17% 16% 14% 11% Front-end Imaging OCR/Automated Data Capture Automated Workflow Electronic Payments Purchasing Cards Usage of AP automation technology has increased in every area. While gains were modest, the overall increase in adoption showed that organizations that planned to implement automation technologies followed through on their plans. Organizations planning to implement automation technologies in the coming 6 months remain relatively high. Purchasing cards (P-Cards) continue to represent the most widely used technology with an 86 percent adoption rate and 11 percent of organizations planning on implementing P-Cards within the next 6 months. The high adoption rate of P-Cards leads to a reduction in invoice volume and the paperwork associated with the processing of invoices. As an added benefit, P-Card usage also results in higher rebates for the buying organization. Electronic payments (epayments) have also been widely adopted with a usage rate of 84 percent. Organizations have embraced the benefits associated with epayment solutions, including a reduction in late payments, fewer lost checks and decreased mailing costs. The adoption of epayments reveals that organizations have started the invoice automation process from the back-end first. Front-end imaging holds a 62 percent adoption rate, a 4 percent increase over last year s survey results. This reveals that organizations are now realizing that front-end imaging ensures that invoices are entered into their systems quickly and are made immediately available for routing, collaboration and management to all parties, irrespective of their location.
14 Mature technologies like optical character recognition (OCR) are employed by 38 percent of the organizations surveyed, representing only a one percent increase over 2011 results. Figure 10 Where does your organization stand with regards to the usage of % 46% electronic invoicing? 29% 21% 24% 19% 8% 11% We are currently using such a solution We are currently deploying such a solution and will go live within the next 6 months We are evaluating the usage of a solution We do not use an einvoicing solution and have no plans to implement one In each of the survey areas that relate to the adoption of einvoicing, the results revealed an increase over last year. Participants that do not use an einvoicing solution and have no plans to implement one decreased 10 percent, from 29 percent in 2011, down to 19 percent in As stated earlier in the report, adoption among SME s is increasing as electronic invoicing opens up in the middle market. The 10 percent decrease in companies not using an einvoice solution and have no plans to implement one is further proof of this.
15 Figure 11 Which of the following benefits have you achieved from the usage of electronic invoicing? Lower processing costs Reduction in procure-to-pay cycle time 52% 54% 50% 56% Reduction in exceptions / discrepancies 32% 39% Increased vendor satisfaction 24% 35% Increase in on-time payments 46% 46% Reduction in duplicate payments 23% 26% Improved visibility across the transaction lifecycle 38% 42% For the first time, survey respondents reported that the reduction in procure-to-pay cycle time (56 percent) is the biggest benefit achieved from the usage of electronic invoicing. In previous years, the number one benefit has always been lower processing costs. This change can be attributed to the fact that reduced P2P cycle times leads to invoices being paid on time, capture of supplier discounts and improved supplier relationships. The biggest increase is the 11 percent increase in vendor satisfaction. This can be attributed to the fact that the adoption of electronic invoicing results in fewer lost or missing invoices and more on time payments to vendors.
16 Figure 12 Paper Invoices; no need to convert to electronic 16% Please select the top three (3) barriers to electronic invoice adoption. Shortage of IT resources Lack of integration between electronic invoice and A/P systems 41% 64% Suppliers not willing to adopt electronic invoice 51% No executive sponsorship; senior management not convinced of ROI 15% Unable to easily gather supplier information Don t know where to begin or how to understand which e-invoice tool is most suited 16% 22% A dramatic change occurred in survey responses regarding the barriers to the adoption of electronic invoicing from 2011 to The belief that paper-based, current processes work no longer holds first place as the biggest barrier. The 2012 survey responses reveal that the shortage of IT resources ranks first at 64 percent, a dramatic increase from only 7 percent in The growth of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions is working to overcome the barrier to shortage of IT resources. SaaS solutions not only eliminate the upfront fees associated with hardware and software costs, but they shift control away from IT resources and provide the user with the control and flexibility needed.
17 Figure 13 64% 59% What is your primary method used to trade business-to-business invoices? 22% 14% 13% 14% 9% 6% Paper einvoice / Portals / EDI Fax While survey results show that paper continues to dominate, electronic invoicing has witnessed an 8 percent increase from 14 percent in 2011 to 22 percent in As einvoicing increases, paper continues to wane with a 5 percent decrease from 64 percent in 2011, down to 59 percent in PayStream also attributes the 1 percent increase in the ing of invoices to the decrease in paper invoices. The use of fax to trade B2B invoices decreaed from 9 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2012.
18 Figure 14 What percentage of your suppliers has converted to electronic invoicing? 43% 45% % 17% 11% 13% 12% 13% 9% 9% 4% 5% None 1-10% 11-25% 26-50% 50-75% >75% Year-over-year, the most notable difference in the number of suppliers that have converted to electronic invoicing is witnessed in the 9 percent decrease in the number of suppliers that have not converted, dropping from 20 percent in 2011 down to 11 percent in The increased number of suppliers that have converted to einvoicing attributes to the increase across the board, with the largest increase in suppliers converting percent of invoices to electronic format - up 4 percent from 2011 to As more solution providers begin providing free supplier portals and aggressive supplier onboarding programs, PayStream predicts that supplier adoption will continue to increase.
19 Impact of Company Size PayStream 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 an organization s adoption of technology. For further analysis, organizations that had less than $250 million in revenues were classified as Small, those with revenues between $250 million and $1 billion were Medium and finally, companies with revenues over $1 billion were categorized as Large. Over one-third (36 percent) of survey participants were from Small companies, Medium companies comprised 26 percent of the population, with Large companies forming the remaining 38 percent. Technology Adoption Increases with Company Size When analyzing the survey data, one common theme that emerged in past benchmarking surveys and continues today is that Large companies have higher automation adoption rates, see Figure 15. However, as stated earlier, this trend is trickling down to small and medium sized businesses with the evolution of SaaS models, free supplier portals, dynamic discounting and mobile transactional capabilities. Figure 15 Adoption of various Small Medium Large technologies by company size 79% 87% 78% 81% 74% 68% 61% 61% 55% 51% 31% 36% 42% 39% 43% 19% 17% 22% Front End Imaging Optical Character Recognition Automated Workflow Electronic Payments Purchasing Cards Electronic Invoicing
20 Small Medium Large Figure 16 Invoice receipt methods by company size 67% 42% 46% 39% 23% 15% 11% 18% 9% 7% 13% 5% einvoice Fax Paper Medium and Large organizations have been able to streamline their accounts payable processes through the diligent use of technology. This is validated by the fact that these companies have reduced the volume of error-prone and expensive paper invoices significantly.
21 Small Medium Large Figure 17 Adoption of electronic means for transfer of More than 50% of Payments are Electronic 15% 27% 58% information by company size More than 50% of Suppliers Send Electronic Invoices 8% 18% 43% 5% More than 50% of Invoices are Received Electronically 18% 40% 21% More than 50% of POs are Sent Electronically 13% 28% 5% 39% Across the range of documents traded with suppliers, POs, invoices, payments, etc., Large companies have had more success in migrating their transactions from paper to electronic means, as evidenced by the survey results, see Figure 17. As more suppliers are on-boarded, PayStream predicts that electronic means for the transfer of information will increase dramatically.
22 Conclusion Electronic invoice management remains a top priority among accounts payable departments. Thirty-five percent of survey respondents report they have already launched an electronic invoice initiative and nearly half (46 percent) are currently evaluating the usage of such a solution. The benefits of electronic invoicing are apparent, as witnessed by the large early adopters and the benefits that these early adopters achieved. Advanced capabilities in electronic invoicing including SaaS solutions, supplier onboarding, automation workflow and mobile functionality are now making einvoicing technology attractive to SME s. PayStream predicts this middle market will continue to grow as more companies adopt electronic invoicing and electronic payments. The solution providers profiled in this report have devoted considerable developmental resources towards addressing einvoicing, supplier onboarding, mobile functionality and automation workflow. PayStream Advisors is certainly encouraged by what we are seeing. As the middle market continues to open up for einvoicing, PayStream predicts that the market will continue to increase at a compound average annual growth rate of 13 percent currently at $280 million. If we step back and look at the big picture, the good news is that the use of paper to trade B2B invoices continues to decline as electronic invoicing continues to increase.
23 Hubwoo Hubwoo is the world s leading collaborative business network provider, connecting companies to enable more productive B2B commerce. Through The Business Network, Hubwoo s open, collaborative business platform, companies can search, connect and collaborate easier. The Business Network provides rules-based procurement and finance automation with an easy to use, consumer-like user experience that drives value for organizations by connecting them to over one million active businesses around the globe, streamlining B2B collaboration and commerce. With Hubwoo, buyers can source smarter, buy smarter and pay smarter. Sellers can market smarter, sell smarter and invoice smarter. Hubwoo s cloud-based solution brings businesses together through guaranteed and rapid supplier on-boarding and global support that ensures mass adoption and compliance. Electronic invoice presentment through The Business Network is done via an (OCR) scanning service or through a direct connection to suppliers accounts receivable system. Invoice management with The Business Network means fewer errors and less manual work for both buyers and suppliers. Validation and conditional rules at the time of invoice presentment eliminate invoice errors at the source. With Match & Approve, buyers and suppliers are notified automatically when invoices require review or adjustment. The solution facilitates easy collaboration on a resolution, with total visibility into the process by all parties. Better invoice management allows buyers to take greater advantage of early payment discounts, while suppliers enjoy the benefit of improved cash flow from faster payments. Invoices are TrustWeaver certified and meet local legal compliance in 38 countries. As an open collaborative business platform, The Business Network fits any technology and company size without geographic limitations, providing access to a worldwide community anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The solution works with all ERP, procurement, finance, marketing, and selling applications. With offices in 8 countries that span the Americas, Europe and Asia, Hubwoo provides global coverage and local support in 14 languages. Website Founded 1999 (IPO in 2000) Headquarters Solution Name Number of Customers Number of Employees 260 Target Verticals Partners/Resellers Paris, France The Business Network 1 million + businesses connected on The Business Network The Business Network by Hubwoo operates across all verticals Microsoft, Dun & Bradstreet, IBM, TrustWeaver
24 About PayStream Advisors 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 us on the web at
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