Invoice processing productivity depends upon several variables. One important factor is the level of automation in accounts payable.


Based upon our experiences working with customers to improve their invoice processes, an organization that is manually processing paper invoices can expect AP staff members to process about 14,000 invoices per year. Much of their time is spent resolving invoice errors or responding to calls from suppliers asking when they will get paid. Contrast that with the AP organization processing electronic invoices. According to our data, productivity soars to 85,000 invoices per year per FTE. Little time is wasted on fixing problem invoices or responding to supplier inquiries.


When you project these numbers for a large organization faced with the processing of 500,000 invoices a year, the paper pushers require an AP staff of 35+ compared to 5-6 people to manage an e-invoicing operation.


While few organizations are processing 100 percent of invoices electronically, the gap in process efficiency and cost discrepancies are startling. And this doesn't take into account the costs from rogue spend or missed discounts.


I'd like to hear from AP managers how your organizations ranks on the invoice processing productivity scale. What are your invoice volumes, and how many people do you have assigned to invoice processing? If you have moved from paper processing to an electronic process, what improvements are you seeing?