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5 AP KPIs Worth Tracking

Companies can improve efficiency in the accounts payable processes and find inefficiencies by having key performance indicators. Metrics differ depending on the business scope and industry and help assess accomplishments to the core company objectives while creating goals for continued growth. 

Businesses must establish metrics where they compare performance against set standards and targets. It helps gauge effectiveness in operations and impacts the company’s success. It is the same with the accounts payable processes: There should be a measure to prevent missing items during billing, improve productivity, and measure performance. 

The Importance of Key Performance Indicators in Accounts Payables

AP KPIs offer essential information for strategic payment and procurement in a company’s short or long-term plans. Modern technology enables real-time monitoring of key performance indicators as businesses can get data on a dashboard. Organizations may handle common issues with account payables using specific metrics, including;

  • Decrease mistakes from inputting data manually in databases
  • Track all available channels for receiving invoices
  • Ensuring information on the invoice matches other sales and financial records like purchase orders
  • Eliminate manual and time-consuming tasks leading to fewer invoice exceptions. 
  • It helps detect fraudulent transactions in the business. 
  • Making accounts payable management more effective

5 KPIs in Account Payables Worth Tracking

Key performance indicators are something business managers and finance professionals are familiar KPIs should be SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). Monitoring KPIs should be regular and has a significant role in the strategy’s success. Here are some metrics to track with account payable automation;

  1. Invoice Processing cost

The metric is the total expense of the AP team o process one invoice and varies amongst firms based on the variables taken into account when calculating the costs, 

If organizations do not factor in the hidden expenses, they may seem low and will not know what could harm a company’s profitability. When a business processes invoices manually, it is critical to factor in the personnel and operational expenses of labor-intensive, prolonged procedures and the higher possibility of human mistakes, which affects the cost per invoice. 

Other factors that affect the invoice processing costs include: 

  • Processing mechanisms and infrastructure
  • Invoice printing and delivering 
  • Mistakes, overpayments, and payment delays 
  • Lost discounts from suppliers
  • Auditing fees 

Organizations need to consider the goals when automating the accounts payable procedure as they seek to improve productivity and eliminate human mistakes.

  1. Payment Processing Lead time 

The metric measures the time for receiving, processing, validating, and completing a payment request. It is a great technique to gauge the effectiveness of the entire AP process even if some steps take place beyond the system functionality and considers the duration for: 

  • Making an invoice into an electronic format or saving it into a standard data form. 
  • Comparing the invoice to any accompanying documents, such as an agreement, a receipt, or a purchase order. 
  • Assessing and approving any variations. 
  • Tagging expense invoices and distributing them to the appropriate personnel

AP automation is the secret to reducing invoicing lead times. It saves time by eliminating manual procedures and AP staff can concentrate on other tasks. Digitization aids in tracking the KPI and executives can accurately determine the lifecycle of invoices before payment completion. 

  1. Amount of invoices Staff Process

AP automation ensures the team has less work and more time for other tasks. However, it doesn’t always entail firing employees: businesses view this as a chance to employ skilled AP personnel for advanced jobs like data analysis and reporting. 

Although it may not come to mind as a key performance indicator when considering important metrics in accounts payable management, businesses need to measure the number of invoices full-time workers handle, offering insights into efficiency and productivity. 

The figures vary across organizations depending on how often they count invoices as you calculate the total number by the period. Companies must be keen when analyzing the metric as it can be complicated: They must look at many factors before comparing the result to industry standards or other companies.

  1. Rate of Invoice Exceptions

Billing mistakes can harm ties to vendors and impact credit terms on supplies. Since payment errors are a frequent blunder, enterprises must track the occurrences.  We derive the rate of invoice exceptions by dividing the number of outgoing payments by the total at the start of the processing pipeline.

Another KPI to focus on against these issues is the duplication of payments and it is common among firms that look to prevent fraudulent payments. With AP automation, it is not necessary to do the calculations manually as the system can provide the information and executives can get data in real-time. Still automating AP operations will significantly reduce mistakes by eliminating manual data entry and invoice processing. 

  1. The percentage of Invoices distributed automatically

In addition to diverting AP workers from their crucial jobs, delivering the relevant billing information to the right authority can lead to lost or forgotten bills. Use an efficient AP automation technology that transmits the invoices swiftly to the proper recipient to avoid delays or strained relationships with suppliers.  

It would be best to monitor the KPI because it shows the proportion of all invoices that get to the appropriate personnel with no user input. The most advanced technologies can redirect invoices and add precise tags for easy monitoring. 

A company can program the logic into the system to help the AP department evaluate the effectiveness of their automation systems and company performance. 


Regardless of the technology you integrate into your business, the people who will be using the systems largely determine success with the initiative. Therefore, it is essential to engage the AP team about automation in operations from the start. 

Involve all project participants in implementing AP automation to ensure they embrace technology integration at the workplace. In addition, enterprises would achieve their desired results by having experts help in system development. 

Qualified and experienced personnel will ensure your accounts payable process complies with the industry regulations and can pinpoint opportunities for development,  

June 22, 2023