Automation Is Changing the Relationship between Accounts Payable and Procurement [Whitepaper]

Procure-to-Pay Process [Whitepaper]

A new Corcentric-sponsored Ardent Partners whitepaper focuses on the need to transform back-office finance functions into models of efficiency and cost control.

This blog first appeared on the Corcentric Website.

Ardent Partners recently published a whitepaper, sponsored by Corcentric, detailing the changes taking place in accounts payable and procurement. The paper, “Total Transformation: Trends and Value Drivers for AP and Procurement,” focuses on how the search for efficiency is transforming what were once considered back office or low-strategic functions into models of efficiency and cost control. Enterprises now are living by the mantra of ‘do more with less,’ and have come to realize that AP and procurement may be untapped sources for cost savings and process efficiencies.

When it comes to procurement, the main trends and value drivers, according to Ardent Partners, are:

Agile Sourcing: Procurement teams are now expected to be responsive to changes in stakeholder needs, supplier capabilities, or market conditions by quickly making use of alternative sourcing.

Focus on Technology: 40% of companies in an Ardent Partners procurement-themed survey indicated that they are either buying new systems or upgrading existing one.

Collaboration: This is the most persistent and ongoing trend to come out of Ardent’s research over the past few years. Silos have been replaced by collaboration with AP, C-suite executives, and suppliers.

For accounts payable, the major trends and drivers are:

Automation: 83% of respondents to Ardent’s 2014 report on AP stated that they expected the AP process to be largely automated within the next year or two.

Collaboration: Like procurement, this is a big trend, with 69% of respondents seeing stronger partnership with procurement. The result is a more holistic “source to settle” process.

Evolving Skillsets: Sixty-six percent of respondents acknowledge that the role of accounts payable is expanding. This will require new skillsets which is likely to become a challenge in future hiring searches.

Involvement with Working Capital Optimization: Fifty-seven percent surveyed believe this is an area where they can make a real contribution to the enterprise overall.

The paper suggests that there are four actions that should be taken by both AP and procurement to deal with this transformation of functions:

  1. Tight communication between functional teams
  2. Focus on developing necessary skill sets
  3. Invest in strategies and solutions that promote visibility into enterprise data
  4. Look at procure-to-pay processes holistically

Download a free copy of the Ardent Partners Total Transformation: Trends and Value Drivers for AP and Procurement whitepaper.

Kate Freer

About Kate Freer

Kate Freer is Vice President of Marketing for AmeriQuest Business Services. In this role, Kate is responsible for AmeriQuest’s marketing and communications activities, including image and market development, corporate communications, media relations, brand management, advertising, and market research and analysis. She leads go-to-market strategy for AmeriQuest and its subsidiary companies.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Freer served as Director of Marketing of AmeriQuest. She joined the company in 2004 as Marketing Manager, was promoted to Director in 2007, and subsequently promoted to Vice President of Marketing in 2012.

Before joining AmeriQuest, Ms. Freer held various marketing, communications, and advertising roles in the publishing industry for Information Today, Inc. and the Courier-Post, a Gannett company.

Ms. Freer holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Stockton University.

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