When it comes to AP, payments can be the most manual, labor- intensive part of the entire process. That’s why it’s is somewhat mystifying that wholesale adoption of ePayments has not yet come to fruition. Ardent Partner’s 2018 State of ePayables Research report sheds light on this conundrum.
According to Arden’s report, ePayment adoption has been slowly improving over the last five years. While there has traditionally been a greater focus for AP departments automating the front end of the process, more and more organizations are beginning to understand that ePayment solutions are vital to realizing the full potential of AP and P2P automation.
According to Ardent Partners: “One area within the AP realm that has started to attract the attention of AP and finance professionals and that the Ardent Partners team feels can add a lot of business value to an enterprise is the automation of business-to-business (B2B) payments.
“There is significant business value hidden in every B2B payment that an enterprise makes, and with the recent developments and innovations in the market, combined with an increased recognition of the emerging business value of ePayments, enterprises need to continue to look at these new ways to drive financial value.
One of the reasons ePayment has struggled in adoption is the fact that traditionally payment and dynamic discounting and supplier enablement solutions have been fundamentally disconnected from invoice automation. To this end, AP operations have faced significant challenges managing supplier payments, supplier data and programs to effectively move suppliers to electronic forms of payment.
Organizations require a single integrated solution for Invoice Automation, Payment Automation, Dynamic Discounting and Supplier Enablement, with leading technologies and out-of-the-box workflows.
Ardent Partners analysts urge organizations to evaluate available technology tools to move forward with B2B payment processing. “Over the next few years, B2B payments will become a more strategic business process and a pathway to gain more operational and financial value. It will be up to AP and P2P professionals to take advantage of the tools that are available in the marketplace. Those that do will be able to provide a unique opportunity to drive greater business value to the broader enterprise.”
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