Top 4 most useful Key Performance Indicators for Accounts Payable

| 14-10-2020 | treasuryXL | SpendLab Recovery |

Nowadays all businesses use Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to measure the performance of internal -and external processes and thereby operational success. In the Accounts Payable unit of an organization this should not be any different.

‘If it cannot be measured, it cannot be managed’. Establishing and tracking KPI’s in the Accounts Payable department enables an organization to identify weak processes and operational inefficiencies. A KPI should be specific, quantifiable, time-bound and should be agreed upon by all project members. KPI’s need to be measured on a regular basis to ensure that the Accounts Payable process matches with the goals set by the organization and to identify areas of improvement.

In general, but also in specific cases such as mergers and acquisitions, organizational restructuring and new technology implementations (e.g. Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning) it is imperative to make use of Accounts Payable KPI’s that enable organizations to measure the impact of changes on the Accounts Payable process.

In the last couple of months, SpendLab Recovery has requested their clients to share the KPI’s that are most important to them in the Accounts Payable department. From the reactions that we received, we have compiled a list of KPI’s that secure the most meaning from available data, which can be used to strengthen the Accounts Payable process.

  1. The cost per processed invoice

The cost per processed invoice is the cost of processing one invoice in the (entire) organization. This cost can vary depending on the type of business as well as the factors that are taken into account. Important to understand is the fact that the cost per processed invoice may appear to be low, just because the hidden costs that negatively impact the profit have not been taken into account.

One example related to hidden costs is an organization that has a high level of manual invoice processing. This type of organization needs to take into account labour- and operational costs, the risk of human errors, and lengthy processes. In addition, the cost per processed invoice needs to take into account the time spent by employees in the Accounts Payable process. Several other contributors to the cost per processed invoice are systems and equipment, overpayment, errors, lost supplier discounts as well as audit costs.

A second example encompasses invoices that are sent by suppliers, but do not meet the requirements set by the client. This inefficient process results in a chain reaction that increases the number of activities that have to be conducted. Consequently, the costs of processing an invoice will increase.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, the processing costs of an invoice have decreased significantly. Whereas the costs of processing an invoice in the Accounts Payable department ranged between $20,00 and $30,00, some organizations are now able to process an invoice for $10,00, and top performing organizations for $5,00, according to the results of a survey published in 2018.

Accounts Payable departments can reduce the manual handling of invoices by implementing and utilizing paperless Accounts Payable automation software.

  • The lead time per processed invoice

The cost of processing invoices increases when an organization processes invoices slowly. The lead time per processed invoice in the Accounts Payable department tracks the total time that it takes for an invoice to be received, processed, finalized, and made ready for payment in the financial ERP system. Processing speeds vary based on the size as well as the industry an organization works in.

If a specific Accounts Payable automation solution manages the total process, starting from receiving the receipt to posting in the ERP, this metric can easily be tracked throughout the system. However, if process steps happen outside of the Accounts Payable automation solution, it might get tricky, but still an exceptional way to measure the overall efficiency of processing invoices in the Accounts Payable.

The key to achieve a reduction in the lead time per processed invoice is automation. By mapping the Accounts Payable process, removing manual process steps and implementing an automation solution that takes on the workload in the back-end of the organization, organizations are able to save valuable time and ensure that the resources in the Accounts Payable can focus on value-adding activities.

  • The number of invoices processed per employee per day

One of the KPI’s that should not be neglected is the number of invoices that an Accounts Payable employee processes on a daily basis. This KPI provides key insights into the strengths and opportunities in the Accounts Payable department.

There are a significant number of negative downstream effects in relation to low performers in this KPI. For instance, until an invoice is processed, approved and filed into an ERP system, other departments are not able to assess the development and/or stage of the process the invoice is in.

This lack of insights and therefore visibility leads to organization-wide problems such as missed supplier discounts, late payment fees, mismanaged cash flows, and overall poor relationships with suppliers.

Optimizing this KPI is therefore a must.

  • Percentage of invoice exceptions

Invoice exceptions are a plague for Accounts Payable departments and therefore organizations in general. The result of invoice exceptions is twofold. First of all, invoice exceptions cause a reduction in the processing efficiency, having to discuss and agree on the invoice with peers and, in the worst case, creating disputes with purchasers and suppliers. Secondly, invoice exceptions drag down employee morale, especially when the exceptions have to do with structural problems that are related to the workflow. A few examples of invoice exceptions are the following: discrepancies in the purchase order (e.g. wrong supplier codes, receipt dates or zip codes), incorrect, duplicate and missing purchase orders and non-purchase orders.

The bottlenecks that are a result of invoice exceptions are able to bring entire Accounts Payable departments to halt. Being able to reduce the impact of discrepancies requires organizations to track and control invoice exception rates.

About SpendLab Recovery

SpendLab Recovery is the Dutch market leader in spend justification. The company is a former spin-off from the Dutch government with a 98 year old heritage in procurement. It currently specialises in generating liquidity for clients by analysing -and identifying anomalies in accounts payable data.

In terms of certification, SpendLab is GPR compliant and is ISO-certified for Information Security Management (ISO/IEC 27001) and Quality Management (ISO 9001:2015).

By having insights in the accounts payable and being able to recover unjustified liquidity, treasurers will be able to identify and control (liquidity) risks in their vendor data.

For more information visit SpendLab.com

 

treasuryXL announces partnership with SpendLab Recovery

| 28-5-2020 | treasuryXL | SpendLab Recovery |

VENLO, The Netherlands, May 28, 2020 – treasuryXL, the independent community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury, and SpendLab Recovery, the Dutch market leader in spend justification that is currently in the process of expanding internationally, today announced the signature of a premium partnership.

As a marketplace, treasuryXL will offer SpendLab Recovery market commentary and insight to its audience. Offering a continuous flow of relevant treasury content, making treasury knowledge available, results in treasuryXL being the obvious go-to platform for its’ audience. SpendLab Recovery will have a prominent role in the Treasury Topic environment with coverage in Operational Risk, Liquidity, Treasury Software and Fraud & Cybersecurity.

SpendLab Recovery generates liquidity for clients by using their Accounts Payable Recovery Analyzer (APRA). APRA is a technology platform that combines over 400 algorithms, Big Data, AI, and machine learning, and audits all the raw Accounts Payable data in any ERP system to identify anomalies. Several examples of anomalies include but are not limited to: undue payments, double invoices, overpayments, and overpaid VAT. Over the past years, SpendLab has analysed over 321 million invoices and has recovered more than €200 million EUR for its clients.

treasuryXL and SpendLab Recovery strive for a fruitful partnership where its’ audience are top of mind making sure that (potential) clients are always up to date with the latest news and events in their field, benefit from a comprehensive range of innovative solutions, services and experts.

According to Iris Lopes, Managing Director at SpendLab “Nowadays, there is more and more demand for concrete and useful data, especially data that can be used to empower financial decision-makers. We as SpendLab focus specifically on the accounts payable of organisations and can contribute to generating liquidity, providing complete insights into accounts payable data, and reducing any related risk. Our goal of this partnership with treasuryXL is to share our profound accounts payable knowledge to the Treasury community and to gain a better understanding of the processes and difficulties that financial decision-makers have to deal with.”

“SpendLab Recovery is a great addition to our treasury community and offers unique services. In these COVID-19 times businesses have an even stronger focus on liquidity than before. SpendLab Recovery creates transparent insights in accounts payable. These can be the basis for recovering unjustified spendings and will create the control of future risks. Especially in times where treasurers are expected to connect their specialty with that of their colleagues, the solution of Spendlab enables very visible results of cooperation”. says Kendra Keydeniers, Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL.

About treasuryXL

treasuryXL started in 2016 as a community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury. Their extensive and highly qualified network consists out of experienced and aspiring treasurers. treasuryXL keeps their network updated with daily news, events and the latest treasury vacancies.

treasuryXL brings the treasury function to a higher level, both for the inner circle: corporate treasurers, bankers & consultants, as well as others that might benefit: CFO’s, business owners, other people from the CFO Team and educators.

treasuryXL offers:

  • professionals the chance to publish their expertise, opinions, success stories, distribute these and stimulate dialogue.
  • a labour market platform by creating an overview of vacancies, events and treasury education.
  • a variety of consultancy services in collaboration with qualified treasurers.
  • a broad network of highly valued partners and experts.

About SpendLab Recovery

SpendLab Recovery is the Dutch market leader in spend justification. The company is a former spin-off from the Dutch government with a 98 year old heritage in procurement. It currently specialises in generating liquidity for clients by analysing -and identifying anomalies in accounts payable data.

In terms of certification, SpendLab is GPR compliant and is ISO-certified for Information Security Management (ISO/IEC 27001) and Quality Management (ISO 9001:2015).

By having insights in the accounts payable and being able to recover unjustified liquidity, treasurers will be able to identify and control (liquidity) risks in their vendor data.

For more information visit SpendLab.com