What will that mean for your business?
If you describe ePayables to anyone who hasn’t heard the term before, the first reaction is usually: “Why haven’t we already done this?” Yes, ePayables is simply an idea whose time has come, and in fact came a long time ago but doesn’t seem to have reached a critical implementation rate to ensure that it’s realistic for everyone. What does that mean? It means that we’re still seeing a broad range of ePayables solutions that still incorporate a lot of paper into the process.
Maybe all POs are created and submitted electronically, but the business is still required to issue paper checks. There are plenty of solutions that can provide great services and improved efficiency, but need to be customized heavily before they’re ready for each individual client. And then there are the broader problems, like a lack of standards when it comes to accounts payable. Invoicing, POs, and the processes that surround them can be unique for every single supplier or source. And software standards don’t exist.
So there are certainly challenges when it comes to implementing ePayables systems. But that doesn’t mean their time hasn’t come. Even if it takes a custom system to get your AP department as digitalized as possible, the benefits are clear and well worth the effort and costs of implementation.