We first published this post in November, 2016, but we think the figures are so compelling for anyone who wants to improve their accounts payable, we decided to republish this condensed version. You can find the original post here.
If your small or mid-sized business (SMB) is like most, you could be throwing away as much as $12,000 a month – money that could be spent on staffing, resources, innovation or many other strategic investments. Duplicate payments are a common and preventable error that plagues manual accounts payable processes, where it can be hard to say for sure what’s been paid.
Big, Big Data
As a leading provider of spend management solutions, Concur collects and analyzes huge amounts of accounts payable data. For this study, Concur looked at Invoice data from September 2015 through August 2016 to explore the number and value of duplicate invoices that Concur Invoice is catching for our SMB customers, businesses that employ up to 1,000 people. Concur processed nearly $20 billion spread across more than 2.8 million invoices on behalf of these customers in the past year, so there’s a lot of data to mine for insights.
Adding it up
According to the data, an average SMB (Small or Medium Sized Business) processes approximately 450 invoices in a busy month, and experiences an invoice duplication rate of 1.29 percent, or about six duplicate invoices monthly. The average value of a duplicate invoice received is $2,034 – for a total potential outlay of more than $12,000 per month, if each duplicate invoice were to be paid in error.
A big problem
“Duplicate invoicing is a big problem in the SMB market, likely costing businesses not just in terms of overpayment but in time spent to rectify the overpayment,” said Christal Bemont, SVP & GM (SMB), Concur. Automating your accounts payable can help eliminate these duplicates. An ideal supplier invoice automation system tracks and matches invoice details to avoid duplication, as well as allowing customers to configure alerts or automatically halt processing when they identify duplicate invoices. That saves these businesses a lot of financial headaches and a bundle of operating dollars.
Want to know more about avoiding duplicate invoices and some of the other pitfalls of manual supplier invoice handling? Automation can transform your accounts payable approach from tactical to strategic. The benefits include better vendor relationships and stronger management of working capital. Automation also lets your finance team focus on higher value work that helps the business grow. Register for Accounting Today’s Web Seminar: “Improve AP and deliver multiple benefits”, featuring APQC Senior Research Fellow Mary Driscoll and sponsored by Concur, March 30 at 11AM.