A Closer Look at AP Invoice Processing
AP Invoice Processing clerks have been benchmarked for decades. The common figure for most companies is that an AP clerk processes about 1,000 invoices per month. This includes all components of the Accounts Payable processing including:
- Invoice receipt
- Verifying approvals
- Verifying general ledger coding
- Data entry into the accounting system
- Matching against outstanding purchase orders
- Resolving exceptions
- Processing 1099’s
- Statement reconciliation
- Setting up new vendors/vendor maintenance
- Processing check requests
- Answering phone calls
- Responding to emails
- Performing disbursement
What is interesting to note is that this benchmark of 1,000 invoices per month per AP clerk has not changed in over 30 years, unless the company is quite large (over $10 Billion in revenue) and has been able to invest in process reengineering, automation, and other initiatives to achieve efficiencies.
How Does Outsourcing Factor into AP Invoice Processing?
Smaller companies can achieve similar benefits by outsourcing their accounts payable. A good accounts payable outsourcing firm has the automation, best practices, processes, and controls that can allow a smaller company to achieve the same results as the largest companies.
Note that we are talking about true outsourcing; companies that implement accounts payable automation software never get the same results.
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