Published on the 18/06/2019 | Written by Esker
WIth infinite KPI’s to track, which ones are the most important to track?…
Is your accounts payable (AP) department being tasked to better monitor, track and improve key performance indicators (KPIs)?
Then you’re well aware that it can be a daunting task. Why? There are an infinite number of KPIs that you could track to measure AP performance. Deciding which accounts payable KPIs to track depends on your organisation’s goals. However, these KPIs are a great place to start!
- Cost to process a single invoice
As much as you’d enjoy it, your suppliers aren’t just going to stop wanting payments. Processing invoices (especially manually) can be expensive when accounting for costs associated with routing, copying and follow-up, staff salaries, managerial overhead and IT support.
What does the data say? PayStream Advisors reported that the average, all-inclusive cost to process an invoice manually is $40.70. Ouch!
- Time to process a single invoice
People say time is money for a reason, and accounts payable is no exception. The time it takes to process an invoice is a great KPI to track for determining how much value an AP department is either wasting or adding. Longer invoice processing times often lead to missed vendor discounts, late payment fees, low staff productivity, and supplier dissatisfaction.
What does the data say? Ardent Partners reported the market average for processing a single invoice is 11.4 days. Yikes…
- Number of invoices processed per day per AP clerk
Measuring staff productivity is a great way to pinpoint exactly which suppliers are causing your staff the most problems. This can be calculated in three steps:
- Take the number of invoices processed per month
- Divide by the number of FTEs who process them
- Factor in who’s responsible for what aspects
What does the data say? Ok, so there’s not a definitive market average for this one because of all the different factors that play into the calculation. However, once you begin tracking your AP staff’s productivity, you’ll easily be able to see who your top processors are!
- Percentage of invoices linked to a purchase order (PO)
Invoice validation is a key step in AP invoice processing which is why delays, like information not matching PO data, are concerning. Typically, the higher the percentage of invoices linked to a PO, the faster and less expensive your AP process will be.
What does the data say? Ardent Partners reported the market average for percentage of invoices linked to a PO is 58.9 percent.
- Invoice exception rate
The amount of time and resources required to manage invoice exceptions is a major reason why many AP departments underperform. Exceptions are often caused by discrepancies in PO and invoice data, missing/incorrect POs, and bottlenecks in the approval workflow.
What does the data say? Ardent Partners reports the market average for invoice exception rates is 17.2 percent.
Measuring KPIs with real-time analytics and dashboards
Just as important as knowing which accounts payable KPIs to track, is having the technology in place to gather, sort and distribute the data you’re collecting. A robust AP automation solution should provide you with real-time analytics and the dashboards you need to make tracking your KPIs easy.
If you rely on a basic accounting package to run your business, now might be the time to consider other options…
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