Originally appeared in TecHR Series

North American organizations generally fall behind their international counterparts in back-office digitization, primarily due to differences in tax structure and the amount of regulation regarding accounts payable automation, according to “2019 Payables Insight Report,” from Corcentric, a leading provider of procurement and financial process automation solutions, and Levvel Research.

While many organizations around the world have embraced back-office automation technology like payables management, automation in the US has grown at a slower rate. At the same time, technology in North America has progressed significantly from a decade ago, with many organizations embracing at least partial automation. In Europe and Latin America, many governments have regulated the use of electronic B2B invoices in order to promote better compliance with VAT laws. In contrast, electronic invoicing has gone largely unregulated in the US, and tax systems are primarily sales- and income-based. The report details the significant impact on the entire organization of automating management of transactions like invoice receipt, invoice approval, and electronic payments.

There also exists a vast discrepancy in automation adoption between enterprises (characterized as organizations with annual revenue of over $2.5B) and SMEs (characterized as organizations with annual revenue of $1M to $100M). The report shares data that indicates many smaller organizations have been unable or unwilling to implement the available technology. According to the report, 86 percent of SMEs still capture invoice details manually, while 27 percent of mid-market organizations and 14 percent of SMEs use an automated solution.

“Despite the challenges for many organizations in North America, P2P automation stands out as an incredible opportunity for the C-level executive to implement transformative strategies,” noted Matt Clark, President and COO of Corcentric. “Digital solutions for areas like accounts payable and accounts receivable not only reduce operational costs, speed up response times, and improve the quality of outcomes, but enable organizations to generate growth and innovation across the enterprise.”