On average, enterprises spend nearly half of every dollar they earn on external goods and services. AberdeenGroup's new report, 'The Invoice Reconciliation and Payment Benchmark Report,' found that 69 percent of enterprises have limited-to-no visibility into critical financial information relating to the costs for these external goods and services. Three pressures cited by survey respondents are linked directly to visibility:

"One of the challenges in gaining visibility into costs is the large volume of paper-based transactions and variety in the types of billing processed," says Joe Basili, an Aberdeen research director and lead author of the report. "The data from processing bills should be integrated with sourcing, procurement, and ERP systems to provide visibility into costs and maintain competitive position." The report examines the implications of labor-intensive manual processes. Basili offers specific recommendations for improving management of IR&P processes, which include the following:

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