In 2016, accounts payable (“AP”) is well-positioned to move beyond its transactional history and become the sort of strategic business partner that can consistently show its value at the highest levels of the organization. This shift started happening several years ago, when AP recognized that the invoicing process, while not broken, did in fact need fixing. And then, while AP began to quest for higher ground in the face of this new dawn, enterprises large and small started to notice that the team which had previously only processed invoices had an emerging business value that could drive financial returns to the bottom line.
It is with this changing environment in mind that Ardent Partners now announces the launch of its 2016 State of Accounts Payable market research survey (click here now to take the survey). This latest iteration of Ardent’s annual AP survey aims to benchmark the accounts payable industry at large, including AP’s technology usage and the key performance metrics that enterprises of all sizes can use as baselines to judge their own AP department’s performance.
The survey includes several new areas of interest, including how integral data is to AP’s decision making, how collaborative AP is with other stakeholders in the enterprise, and a special set of new B2B payment questions. This is in addition to questions about AP performance, the current state of the accounts payable team, and the B2B (vendor) payments side of the AP process.
Also new for 2016 is the launch of the AP Competency Matrix, which allows AP leaders to “rate” their team members on the level of competency in 15 different functional areas, such as data analysis, general business consulting skills, and an understanding of the different internal stakeholders that work with AP on a regular basis. These 15 skills are the ones that Ardent Partners analysts determined, based on their many years of focus on AP, that AP departments will need in order to remain competitive in the decade ahead.
The survey is designed to take around 20 minutes to complete, and will allow Ardent Partners to continue producing the market-leading AP research that it has consistently provided to the marketplace over the years. Ardent encourages its AP and P2P audience to take the survey (click here), and to pass it along to other practitioners in the AP and P2P profession. As more surveys are completed, Ardent’s analysts will be able to provide an increasingly accurate picture of the accounts payable marketplace and offer a more nuanced representation of what constitutes Best-in-Class performance.
The AP team is well-positioned to become the “hub” of financial and operational intelligence in the organization, which will make AP even more valuable than it already is. With the 2016 State of the AP Market research survey, Ardent Partners seeks to benchmark where this transition is and how the organizations which perform at a higher level than the rest of market reached the pinnacle they current sit at. For the AP teams that have not achieved their goals of high performance, this survey’s results will ideally help them keep their “eyes on the prize” until such time as the higher ground of a more strategically valuable post is reached.
We encourage every professional involved in accounts payable, finance, or the procure-to-pay process to take the 2016 State of the AP Market survey. In thanks for your help, we will send you the completed report (a $499 value) completely free once it publishes.