In a recent Purchase Order Practice Survey, conducted by The Accounts Payable Network, the word "best" would not describe the practices followed by many organizations.
Here's a sample of the findings:
There's quite a gap in the hold-blocked invoice rate differential between leaders and laggards: 25 percent more problem invoices for the lower quartile performers compared to the upper quartile. For every 100,000 invoices processed, the laggards deal with 30,000 problem invoices, the leaders only 5,000. If it takes $20 on average to resolve a hold or blocked invoice, the laggards spend an additional $600,000 to process these invoices vs. $100,000 for the leaders. At $30 per problem invoice, the numbers jump to $900,000 vs $150,000 respectively. And for the organization processing 500,000 invoices annually? Multiply those estimates by 5.
These costs don't consider whether the purchase was from a preferred supplier, at a negotiated price. Hackett Group studies show that the savings leakage from non-compliance--or buying from a non-preferred supplier off the contracted rate--is over $9 million per billion dollars of spend for the average company. Then there are the lost savings from the inability to capture early payment discounts.
If you are having a difficult time building a business case for automating your invoice or procure-to-pay operations, run the numbers. You really can't afford not to.