Ardent Partners presents a comprehensive, industry-wide view into what is happening in the world of business payments and accounts payable today. Their research draws on the experience, performance, and perspective of more than 200 accounts payable, finance, and other professionals to provide state-of-the-market insight into AP’s top challenges and priorities.

The State of ePayments

Enterprise inertia, driven by a resistance to change, is typically one of the biggest obstacles that enterprise functions must overcome on the pathway to organizational transformation. With the recent ascension of advanced technologies in the business-to-business (“B2B”) payment landscape, however, the inertia at both buyers and suppliers that has allowed paper checks to retain a significant portion of B2B vendor payments may slowly be starting to fade. ...

Over the past 15 years, however, several developments in ePayments have created an environment where the business value of paying suppliers electronically is better understood. These developments include a convergence of emerging technologies, capabilities, and business value that makes ePayments more accessible and attractive to more enterprises. Many of these developments have arisen because of the AP industry’s slow but steady success in removing paper from the front of the process (i.e., the invoice receipt and approval workflow); this has resulted in more and greater potential opportunities from optimizing supplier payments, the tail-end of the AP process. This is not to say that removing paper from the front-end of the AP process is a project that can ever really end, but rather that many AP organizations have done enough work to shift focus to other parts of the overall AP process.

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For more information about the latest innovations in B2B e-payments, click here.

With Ariba, we reduced our paper invoice volume by 33 percent in nine months, and that was a tremendous accomplishment. We have also placed additional controls up front, created a system where invoices flow through better, and, in the end, reduced the actual cost of our operations.

— Al Barbee , Director , GSK North America Shared Financial Services