Dooap, an accounts payable (AP) automation provider for Microsoft Dynamics environments, announced today more than 75 percent of AP departments using Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are not using an AP automation solution, according to results of a survey commissioned to Ardent Partners. Because of the lack of automation, these departments are inundated with paper invoices and bogged down with tactical processes, missing out on the cost savings and efficiencies that automation is bringing to other companies.
“While organizations realize that AP automation enables greater savings, early payment discounts and other benefits, this survey shows that AP departments using Dynamics are unable to take advantage of these opportunities due to a lack of automation,” said Antti Kosunen, CEO, Dooap. “When considering how easy and cost-effective it is to automate, there’s no reason for companies to wait and miss out on the immediate competitive advantage that it delivers.”
About two-thirds of companies surveyed are relying on manual methods or have indicated low-level or partial automation. While the survey found those using Dynamics standard functionality are still lacking capabilities, only a few are turning to third-party AP solutions to gain additional functionality.
“It’s clear from our research that automation is critical to enabling AP departments to significantly reduce costs and streamline processes to run their operations more strategically,” said Bob Cohen, research director, Ardent Partners. “The Dooap survey shows that Dynamics AP departments are at the very beginning of the automation process and are struggling with paper-based, manual processes, which make it difficult to get invoice approvals and payments done in a timely manner or have any visibility into invoice and payment data. While most companies are not getting the AP automation capabilities they need from the Dynamics platform and could benefit from compatible best-in-class solutions, a large majority are not yet taking advantage of them.”
Key findings include:
• While AP is valued by the organization, getting buy-in for investment can be difficult. Ninety-four percent of AP organizations consider their AP teams to be valuable, very valuable or exceptionally valuable, yet many AP departments are struggling to get budget for technology investment.
• The current level of AP automation is very low. On a scale where 1 indicates manual processes, 3 indicates partial automation and 5 indicates full automation, the average Dynamics user does not reach the level of partial automation (2.31). A large majority of Dynamics users (86 percent) are using manual processes or low-level/partial automation for invoice receipt; 79 percent for reporting and analytics; 78 percent for early payment and discount capture; 77 percent for invoice approvals and routing; and 76 percent are conducting PO matching through manual methods or low-level or partial automation.
• There is room for third-party solutions to grow. Only 25 percent of respondents are using third-party AP automation solutions.
• Top three challenges for Dynamics AP departments are tactical. Half of all respondents are challenged by too much paper, and other key challenges include invoice and payment approvals taking too long (42 percent), and lack of visibility into invoice and payment data (35 percent).
• Their number-one priority is to get rid of paper. The three top priorities of Dynamics users are to reduce paper (50 percent), implement an AP automation system (43 percent), and improve visibility into invoice and payment data (43 percent). In comparison, the top priorities of non-Dynamics users are to implement AP automation (29 percent), reduce processing costs (26 percent) and improve visibility into invoice and payment data (23 percent).
• Some don’t even know how long it takes them to process an invoice. More than 25 percent of respondents said they didn’t know, can’t measure or don’t measure how long it takes them to process an invoice. Because of that, they don’t know if there is a problem or what they need to do to solve it. They are unable to measure or improve critical KPIs.
The Dooap survey of Dynamics ERP users consists of 118 respondents, with an overwhelming majority (97 percent) from North America. Company size ranges from less than $100 million in revenue (34 percent) to more than $1 billion in revenue (17 percent).
A webinar conducted by Dooap and Ardent Partners on the survey findings and how to leverage AP automation in Microsoft Dynamics environments will be held on March 20. Individuals can sign up for a free copy of the survey report here, which will be available in early April.