SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

April 04, 2007 06:42 ET

Leading Accounts Payable Managers Know 'The Secret'

New Aberdeen Report Finds That E-Payables Automation Can Deliver a 91% Cost Advantage

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 4, 2007 -- The typical accounts payable ("A/P") department, with its heavy reliance on paper-based processes sits in stark contrast to a business environment that is relentless in its pursuit of process efficiencies and cost reductions. And, while leading enterprises are transforming this traditional, back-office function by investing in automation, most are still stuck in the mud, according to a new report by the Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS).

The E-Payables Benchmark Report: Advancing Accounts Payable Automation reports that despite clear and compelling cost benefits from automating processes, paper invoices persist in usage 80% of the time. The research effort, which documented the insights of nearly 320 enterprises, shows that companies who automate their A/P processes cite up to 91% lower invoice-processing costs. The study also shows that the average A/P staffer is stuck at the transaction level and spends more than one-third of his/her time responding to invoice inquiries.

"In terms of process efficiency, the average Accounts Payable department now lags behind your local DMV," says Andrew Bartolini, Research Director of Aberdeen's Global Supply Management research group. "Lack of A/P automation clearly erodes your bottom-line and translates into lost opportunities across other parts of the enterprise, including treasury and procurement."

Best in Class enterprises are 600% more likely to employ a holistic approach to A/P automation and have distinct performance advantages, such as:

--  46% shorter process cycle time
    
--  12% fewer late payments
    
--  30% less time responding to inquiries
    
Aberdeen recommends that enterprises looking to achieve these Best in Class benefits should establish a linkage between A/P goals and objectives and the broader goals of the finance and procurement groups, as well as work to develop disbursement strategies that optimize working capital.

This report is made available to the public, in part, by the underwriting support of American Express, Bottomline Technologies, Razorsight, Concur Technologies, Datacap, and OB10. To download a complimentary copy of The E-Payables Benchmark Report: Advancing Accounts Payable Automation, please visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3940.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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