By Mark Brousseau
Accounts payable (AP) professionals see "minimal IT involvement" as the biggest benefit of using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or cloud computing for AP processing, according the findings of the 2011 AP Automation Study by International Accounts Payable Professionals. Nineteen percent of survey respondents identified "no capital investment" as the biggest benefit of cloud computing or SaaS, while 17.5 percent cited "lower cost per invoice" and 14.3 percent identified "fast start-up."
Some 12.7 percent of respondents identified "no software or hardware " as the biggest benefit.
Randy Davis, vice president of sales and marketing operations for eGistics isn't surprised that these benefits would rank high in the minds of AP staff. "Cloud offerings have always touted minimal IT involvement, no capital investment, fast deployment, and no on-site software as benefits," he notes.
But Davis believes that the ability of cloud-based document processing solutions to remove paper management from AP processing could deliver even greater benefits to AP professionals. "Today's cloud-based AP solutions significantly improve on key usability factors such as electronic capture, structured indexing, search and retrieval, work allocation, data updates and corrections, and audit and tracking -- things that directly contribute to the smooth operation of an AP department," Davis says.
"eGistics believes that business users will increasingly appreciate and accept the benefits of SaaS and cloud computing for critical tasks such as AP processing and management, and that such benefits will soon be taken for granted. At the end of the day, AP departments are looking for solutions that help them do their jobs faster, more accurately and with better accountability," Davis concludes.
What do you think?