Why Accounts Payable Automation Doesn’t Pay

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One of the largest commercial office Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), headquartered in Arizona, had implemented an outsourced, web-based Accounts Payable (AP) imaging, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and workflow solution to drive efficiency through the AP process. The result: The AP department had half of the productivity of a typical AP department and incurred one of the highest costs to process an invoice we have ever seen. Their aim to automate AP clearly had a negative Return on Investment (ROI). This result is, in fact, not at all unusual; a negative ROI is the typical outcome of an AP automation project. How could this happen when automation is supposed to improve efficiency?

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