The biggest barrier to the adoption of electronic payments has been supplier resistance. A new Ardent Partners report examines how and why that resistance is fading.
This article first appeared on the Corcentric website.
Every enterprise is looking for better ways to manage cash, increase efficiencies, scale operations, and reduce costs. For those who have transformed their supply chain and accounts payable functions from paper-based processes to those that are automated, many of these goals have been realized. Thatâ€™s why thereâ€™s been such a considerable growth in the AP and AR cloud-based solutions marketplace. And few areas have seen as much growth as that of electronic payments (e-Payments).
Ardent Partners recently released a report, sponsored by Corcentric, entitled â€śThe State of B2B Payments 2015: Emerging Business Value,â€ť which focuses on the emerging value that e-Payments provide to accounts payable, as well as to the enterprise itself. Based on its survey of more than 200 leaders from AP and finance, the report offers a view of the rapidly expanding e-payables marketplace as well as benchmarks, analysis, and recommendations.
Ardent Partners notes that supplier resistance to electronic payments (up to this point, the biggest barrier to the adoption of the technology) has been disappearing. According to the report â€śa majority of suppliers (52%) are now willing to accept payments electronically, [rather than by paper checks] which is the highest percentage Ardent Partners has ever seen in the decade plus its analysts have conducted AP-focused research.â€ť
Itâ€™s not just the lack of paper and manual touches that make this technology so valuable to AP; itâ€™s really the visibility into payments due in real-time, and the analytics and reporting capabilities that can generate value by enabling AP to more effectively schedule and manage their supplier payment schedules. When asked to name the biggest challenges they face, respondents indicated a lack of visibility into payment data (34%) as their most pressing concern. And itâ€™s easy to see why. APâ€™s payments to suppliers often accounts for the largest amount of cash flowing out of the business. A lack of visibility into these payments and the data could create, according to Ardent Partners, a â€śblack hole within the critical financial operations process of cash management.â€ť That â€śblack holeâ€ť can mean lead to an inability to accurately forecast, budget, and planning. And that can impact not only the finance functions, but procurement as well.
This report is essential for AP professionals, not only for the information it contains, but also for the best-in-class framework for B2B payments that it provides.