Invoice Processing Cost Savings Analysis

If you read our last post about Working Smarter, Not Harder with A/P One, we mentioned how A/P One can save companies lots of time and money. We also did a brief analysis of how much it costs to process a single invoice and looked at the total spent over an entire year. I want to break this process down even more and showing more details in the costs to process invoices manually, and the savings realized when A/P One is implemented.

To keep it simple, we’re going to look at only one metric in our analysis, which is the ‘hard cost’ of an Accounts Payable (AP) clerk’s time. There are many other efficiencies gained by automating your accounts payable process, but they are more difficult to associate costs and calculate time saved.

Let’s take a look at the analysis of processing invoices manually…

This customer receives a mix of paper invoices and PDF files via email. The AP clerk has to coordinate getting the paper to the approver or managing approvals via the company email system.

Paper gets lost, emails are hard to manage, the status of invoices ‘in process’ is hard to track. The entire process of managing invoices and the approval process is very time consuming.

 Industry average values for a company processing 500 invoices/month manually:

  • The company would have one full time AP person that spends about 5 hours a day processing invoices
  • That person’s total cost to the company is about $27 per hour
  • This person can process about 5 invoices per hour – 1 every 12 minutes
  • The labor costs alone to process the invoices is about $135/day

 Now let’s take a look at efficiencies gained when the same invoices are processed using A/P One, a cloud-based invoice processing and automated approval process solution by CoreIntegrator…

The customer or vendor can now scan or email invoices directly into the A/P One solution. Within 24 hours, the invoice shows up in the AP clerk’s A/P One work queue with all important data entered into the digital form, ready to be processed.  The AP clerk simply confirms the data, selects the GL expense code and electronically sends the invoice to the approver. The AP clerk can track the entire approval process, which can have multiple levels. After approval, the AP clerk does a final check of everything and then submits the payables transaction to the accounting system.

Values after A/P One is implemented:

  • That same AP person can now process about 30 invoices per hour – 1 every 2 minutes
  • They now only spend about 50 minutes per day processing invoices
  • The labor cost to process invoices went from $135/day down to about $22/day
  • The net cost savings for the labor cost alone is about $113/day or over $29K/year
  • The net time saving for each invoice is 10 minutes or about 83 hours of extra time per year
  • The person processing invoices now has over 2 extra weeks of time available to work on other projects

Obviously, the A/P One solution costs money to use, so the company can’t realize the entire cost savings shown above. The good news is that A/P One costs way less to use than the money saved, so there is a positive Return on Investment (ROI) almost immediately.

ROI for the A/P One project:

  • Using A/P One to process an average of 25 invoices/day would cost about $37.50
  • The cost savings/day shown above is $113.00
  • The ROI/day would be about $75.50
  • The annual ROI would be almost $20K!

Summary:

We analyzed a company that processes 500 invoices/month, which is not a large amount. The calculated savings increases as the number of invoices increases, so you can imagine what the time and cost savings would be if the company processed thousands of invoices/month. Plus… the cost of the A/P One solution goes down when you process a higher volume of invoices, so the ROI is even more positive with higher invoice volumes.

We mentioned above that in addition to the AP clerk times savings, there are other efficiencies gained when automating your AP processes with a tool like A/P One.

Here are some examples:

  • The ability to approve invoices electronically, even while remote with a tablet or mobile phone
  • The ability to have visibility of all invoices that are either in process or completed
  • Companies can take advantage of early payment discounts and avoid late payment penalties
  • Audits are greatly simplified since all invoices and associated documents are available electronically

As you can see, after it’s broken down, companies waste a TON of time and money on employees processing invoices for the bulk of their work day. Now that you’ve seen the numbers in this cost-savings analysis, we hope that you consider using CoreIntegrator’s A/P One as the invoice processing and approval workflow solution for your company.

We have a detailed costs savings and ROI tool that you can run using your specific costs and metrics and would be happy to run a report specific for your organization.

Please contact us for more information, or to get your report today.