Product Updates

How Financial Dashboards Can Drive Transformation

October 29, 2021


Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Companies have been struggling to gain actionable insights into accounts payable (AP) during the pandemic. Seven in 10 finance professionals found that lack of data visibility made forecasting a challenge. 63% of accountants have been working overtime because data wasn’t easily accessible. In contrast, 95% of businesses that moved AP data into the cloud reported increased data visibility.

Having information at your fingertips is critical for decision-making. In accounts payable (AP), this can be achieved with dashboard reporting on key AP metrics.

Measuring success

By connecting an AP dashboard to your financial metrics, you gain business intelligence and the ability to examine areas of success and concern. With Beanworks AP automation, you can take a detailed look into all AP workflows: purchase orders, invoices, payments and expenses – and measure how these areas are contributing to your financial growth.

Finance leaders can use them to their advantage and dig deeper to draw a correlation between KPIs. To accommodate this, Beanworks’ smart AP dashboard covers multiple streams for data analysis in real-time.

Beanworks dashboard
Beanworks smart dashboard breaks down the total volume of invoices, purchase orders, payments and expenses processed each day

Optimizing workflows

One of the ways to analyze your AP success is by measuring how much it takes to complete AP functions. Delays in invoice approvals and payment to vendors are a common concern in AP. On average, it takes 11 days to process an invoice. And if your approvals are moving through paper, emails and other informal channels, it can be tough to track delays and identify bottlenecks.



of businesses experienced delays in invoice processing, vendor payments, and expense reimbursements due to remote work this year.

For companies that have automated invoices, payments and expenses, a dashboard provides a breakdown of:

  • Time spent on coding and approving invoices
  • Time spent on processing invoices and payments
  • Pending invoices and payments
  • Sum of all new invoices
  • Sum of all new payments
  • Total monthly/daily expenses (subject to filter setting)

The platform compares data to the last 30 days and calculates the difference, providing AP teams with a holistic view of monthly performance.

Eight in 10 AP teams reported faster approval times and improved forecasting with AP automation. It’s what causing the automation attraction.

Customizing results

Another part of the system records the volume and quantity of transactions. It generates a breakdown of the total volume of invoices, purchase orders, payments and expenses processed each day. This includes:

  • The quantity of invoices, payments, expenses processed within a specific timeframe
  • The value of transactions
  • The dollar amount of pending invoices, payments, and expenses

The advantages of data-driven decision-making

Walmart created a centralized analytics hub, which collects internal and external data from over 200 streams to support its decision-making process. The amount of time it takes to find answers and solve business questions has been cut from weeks to minutes, reportedly.

DBS Bank invested in AI and data analytics to give customers personalized insights to make better financial decisions. This includes notifications on favorable stock recommendations based on the investor’s portfolio.

Starbucks uses a location-analytics platform to identify future store locations. It reviews data from traffic patterns, demographics etc. to determine the likelihood of success for a specific location.

Meal kit delivery service, Blue Apron uses data for predictive analysis to forecast customer demand. It studies user behavior and preferences about its menu to avoid product spoilage and fulfill orders.

Remote work has caused a surge in financial automation and companies are reaping the benefits. Eight in 10 AP teams reported faster approval times and improved forecasting with AP automation. It’s what causing the automation attraction. 83% of finance professionals said AP automation is the top investment priority for their department.

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