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Colleges and universities should increase AP automation and e-invoicing adoption

Corcentric is featured in the recent Purchase to Pay in Higher Education Report from PayStream Advisors. The report shows that although colleges and universities lag behind other industries in implementing workflow automation and e-invoicing, they are demonstrably ahead of these same industries when it comes to electronic payments.

Just like (most) companies, colleges and universities are working to become more efficient through the introduction of automated solutions. Unlike most for-profit companies, however they tend to have a centralized payment department, are highly decentralized when it comes to their purchasing and reporting structures.

The result is a reliance on manual handling of paper invoices flowing in from a variety of departments and campuses, and this, in turn, often results in poor record-keeping, slow payments to vendors, and missed discounts.

Among the findings of this report:

  • Only 17% see themselves as innovators making significant investments in automation as compared to 31% of those in other industries.
  • Yet 50% of educational institutions say they have adopted some advanced technology and are evaluating solutions as compared to 33% from other industries.
  • On the front end, colleges and universities are using or planning to use the following technologies: front-end imaging (42%) and OCR/automated data capture (33%).
  • When it comes to electronic payments, however, 83% of education executives said they are using or planning to use the technology in the next six months, and 75% said the same for P-cards.
  • For those institutions that have implemented e-invoicing, 71% identify increased on-time payments and increased ability to capture discounts as the primary benefits, compared to 32% and 36% respectively for other industries.
  • When asked to name their biggest challenge, 86% of colleges and universities identified supplier adoption as compared to 56% for other industries.

Rob DeVincent, Vice President of Product Development at Corcentric:
“What is clear from this report is that institutes of higher education have, in many cases, taken the initial steps toward invoice and workflow automation but are concerned and cautious about their next moves. However, when they take a closer look, these same institutions understand how implementing these processes will enable them to streamline their AP processes, track all invoices and documentation, and access valuable analytics tools to improve their departmental performance,”

Download a complimentary copy of PayStream Advisors’ Purchase to Pay in Higher Education Report.


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