If you missed our recent blog that cited data from The Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM) survey on how many companies are still manually processing invoices, we invite you to check it out here. As we promised in that piece, we are going to continue to probe this survey and the intriguing data it unearthed. Of the 20 questions that IOFM posed, the results of some stood out more than others, and the questions that generated the most enlightening results are the ones we want to focus on in this space.

Some of the most head-scratching data came in response to the following question: “What percentage of your total invoice volume is processed straight-through, without manual intervention?”

The pie chart below that IOFM created illustrates the high percentage of organizations that are still not taking advantage of modern automated processing, such as virtual electronic invoicing (also known as “e-invoicing”), and remain stuck in outdated processes. 

Survey results graph

As you can see, nearly 80 percent of respondents are processing less than a quarter of their total invoice volume straight-through, without manual intervention. A scant 2.6 percent are getting close to processing all of their total invoice volume without manual intervention, a number that is far too low given the widespread availability of AP automation solutions today. E-invoices are important because unlike their paper counterparts, they can be automatically matched with data in an ERP and posted electronically without human touch.

Many organizations (60 percent of them, according to results of another question in the survey) utilize e-mail attachments as their e-invoice format of choice. However, invoices attached to emails as PDF’s or image files are the least efficient form of e-invoicing because, as IOFM notes, most companies lack the technology to automatically extract data from these attachments. Therefore, they print the attachment and manually input the data into an ERP. This process obviously doesn’t eliminate manual intervention.

The goal of every organization should be 100 percent electronic invoice receipt that eliminates all manual keying, not just some of it. If you have questions about whether your organization is on the right path to receiving 100 percent electronic invoice data, contact us at and we’ll be happy to offer some expert advice.


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