PayStream advisors reports AP automation on the rise in higher education

Friday, July 19, 2013

PayStream Advisors, Inc., a leading independent research and advisory firm, today announced that more higher education institutions are implementing accounts payable automation.  Budget cuts and challenging economic conditions have required higher education institutions to tighten their belts and closely examine invoice processing costs. 

These are among the findings of the PayStream Advisors 2013 survey which reveals that Front End Imaging, Electronic Invoicing and Automated Workflow are on the rise at higher education institutions. From 2012 to 2013, Front End Imaging witnessed a 7 percent increase, and both Electronic Invoicing and Automated Workflow increased by 5 percent among survey respondents that selected Higher Education/Research as the description that best fits their organization.

In an effort to migrate away from a paper-based invoice system, more institutions are implementing AP automation solutions.  “Front End Imaging is often the first step in automating AP.  Imaging tackles the toughest part of a manual AP process, which is paper,” states Henry Ijams, Managing Director of PayStream Advisors. “Front-end imaging is the most beneficial since it captures an invoice as soon as it enters an institution and can be tracked throughout the entire process.  By connecting with an electronic invoice and automated workflow system, the invoice approval and payment process is accelerated, resulting in more on-time payments and discounts captured.”

Survey results reveal that the key benefits achieved from AP automation in higher education institutions include a reduction in invoice processing costs (33 percent), quicker approval cycles (29 percent), and better visibility across the transaction lifecycle (27 percent). 

While the benefits of AP automation have been available for quite some time, higher education institutions are now witnessing the tactical benefits around cost containment and productivity enhancements, in addition to the strategic advantages around improved supplier relations and working capital improvements.

Learn more about AP automation solutions that are available to meet the unique needs of higher education institutions at this year’s PayStream INNOVATE '13: The Purchase to Pay Summit that will be held in Charlotte, N.C., September 16 – 18.  Michael J. Noblet CPM, Director of Purchasing and AP Shared Services, University of Maine will be hosting an educational session titled Go Paperless or Go Home: The University of Maine’s Journey to AP Automation.

During this session, the University of Maine will discuss their journey from paper-based processes to AP automation, and outline how other higher education institutions can make the move to efficiency.  Attendees will learn how the right AP solution can help institutions go paperless, better manage suppliers, and make AP a more strategic function. 

Higher education survey results were based on survey responses of over 100 AP and other finance professionals in the higher education sector.  Based on the number of survey responses, PayStream believes that the surveys have a confidence level of +/- 5 percent.

For more information, visit the PayStream Advisors Purchase to Pay Benchmarking Group for Higher Education or PayStream Advisors’ financial automation research in the PayStream Research Vault.

About PayStream Advisors

PayStream Advisors provides in-depth research, reviews and comparisons of top accounts payable and purchase to pay automation software. Offering research and insight to help companies improve AP efficiency, PayStream Advisors also hosts the annual Purchase to Pay Summit, INNOVATE ’13, where accounts payable, finance and procurement leaders gather to share ways to advance purchase to pay processes through collaboration and automation. For more information please visit: www.paystreamadvisors.com