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5th Annual 'Purchase-to-Pay Automation' 2014 European Survey

FARNHAM, England, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

ITESOFT and Mazars have once again collaborated to deliver the 5th edition of the annual "Purchase-to-Pay Automation" survey, in partnership with Accounts Payable News, Shared Services Link and Fujitsu. This European-wide finance poll is a widely regarded benchmark for accounting and finance professionals working in mid-to-large sized organisations within the public and private sector. This comprehensive report identifies emerging industry trends and the key factors for a successful Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) process, comparing different P2P practices across UK, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.

Multi-ERP integration, financial & accounting management tools, supplier collaboration and mobile applications have been reported as the four new emerging trends within the purchase-to-pay automation arena.


The main findings of this 2014 edition

  • P2P automation is an ever-growing practice within AP departments, confirmed by 75.5% of all survey respondents that reported they have implemented one or more solutions for their AP processes. This is a 15% increase from 2012.
  • Respondents within this 75.5%, outlined three main advantages of having an automation solution in place; a reduction in administrative costs, a reduction in processing times, and a general improvement in the management of the entire purchase-to-pay process (from creation of the purchase request to payment of the invoice).
  • The rate of growth for P2P projects is consistent across all countries, with 58% of respondents reportedly having a P2P project for their AP process. Given the already high implementation rate, these projects often involve the addition of new applications (e.g. the collaborative supplier portal) or new roll-outs.
  • In this current era, globalisation is increasing, leading towards the globalisation of new P2P projects. This globalisation operates on two levels; a functional scope (all of the Purchase-to-Pay chain is now taken into account) and a geographical scope (1/3 of all projects underway or planned will be rolled out in respondents' international subsidiaries).
  • Financial and Accounting departments need "flexible" solutions that are capable of adapting to frequent organisational and IT changes. 43.5% of respondents say that the reorganisation of their accounts payable department is "likely" or "being considered". At the same time, the accounting IT system is heterogeneous (15% of companies are multi-ERP) and can change quickly; 29% of respondents indicate they have changed at least once during the past three years.
  • In fact flexibility i.e. "multi-ERP integration" and the "business-line management tool" are reported as the two new key principles when choosing a P2P solution. On average, 82% of respondents maintain that it is 'fairly' or 'very' important to choose a platform that is capable of carrying out multiple, diverse applications as well as adapting to fast organisational changes.
  • And 84% of respondents also choose according to the capacity of the P2P solution to automatically generate management indicators to monitor the whole chain, regardless of the existing or future IT systems and organisational methods.
  • The onset of new practices: the supplier portal

The UK is the precursor in this area; nearly 25% of organisations in the UK have implemented a supplier portal, compared to just 14.5% in France. This emerging practice is expected to gradually grow, with 17.6% of projects reported for France, 27% for the UK and almost 19.3% on average for the all countries covered by the study.

  • ... and mobile applications

To improve flexibility and responsiveness, and keep in line with "DAF 3.0", 30% of Finance and Accounting departments are already using smartphones and tablets to authorise management of the business line in real time. In 23% of cases they use them to consult documents and 19% for their collaborative process (validating a procurement request or an invoice).

The full results of the 2014 'Purchase-to-Pay Automation' Finance Survey are available for download here

About the 2014 'Purchase-to-Pay Automation' European Survey, Accounts Payable News, Fujitsu, ITESOFT, Mazars and Shared Services Link

The survey was designed by a panel of experts* and conducted during the months of June, July and August 2013 (in the form of an online questionnaire) among a broad target group of decision makers, ranging from Accounting and Finance departments. 353 respondents representing 325 public and private organisations answered the questionnaire in full.

* Members of the panel of experts:
Catherine Bergaud, Partner, Accounting and Finance support, Head of Outsourcing - MAZARS
Antoine de Noyer, Director Transformation Finance - Carlson Wagonlit Travel
David Dogimont, Senior Manager Accounting and Finance Support - Mazars
Jean-Louis Douyere, Head of Accounting department - Bull
Veronique Giraudon, Group CFO - Betclic
Marc Henri Gouzien, Site Controller - Agco
Yann Guyomar, Senior Manager Consulting - Mazars
François Lacas, Marketing and Communications Operations Director - ITESOFT
Laurent Olier, Director of Marketing Project - ITESOFT


ITESOFT is an international software vendor of multichannel document capture and process automation solutions aimed at accelerating, streamlining, and securing document-centric business processes. Leveraging its specialized R&D labs and research programs, the performance and innovation of ITESOFT's solutions have helped the company gain the status of an internationally recognized leader beyond its number 1 market position in France.

ITESOFT deploys its solutions to automate critical business processes for over 1,000 clients in large- to mid-sized organizations and SMEs in 29 countries, handling more than a billion documents every year across business sectors.

Founded in 1984, ITESOFT has offices in Germany, the United Kingdom, and France, serving western European markets (Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and France), as well northern Africa and the United States. With a staff of 196 people, the company generated consolidated revenue of 21.6 M€ in 2013. ITESOFT has been listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange since February 2001.

ITESOFT's two-fold go-to-market strategy:

  • Selling "on premise" solutions (the company's ITESOFT FreeMind activity) including software licenses and associated professional services to implement automated document capture and processing projects, both for large organizations and intermediate-sized companies.
  • Providing automated supplier invoice capture and processing as an SaaS (software as a service) solution through Yooz, ITESOFT's independent business unit serving SMEs, associations, certified accountants, and local government organizations.

Value proposition:

ITESOFT's solutions measurably and significantly increase the efficiency of document-centric business processes, both paper and electronic, such as Purchase-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, customer case handling, and more, by increasing productivity and reducing costs while ensuring end-to-end process reliability and traceability. These solutions provide managers with the decision-making tools they need to monitor and control their processes, including supplier scoring, KPI monitoring, and reporting.


James McHarg
Phone: +44-1252-741-500
[email protected]


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