In today’s technology-filled world, most business processes have started to revolutionize by leveraging faster, automatic systems. However, one process, Accounts Payable (AP), struggles to keep pace. While there are many automated approaches, the process remains inefficient leading to delayed and incorrect payments.
What does Accounts Payable look like today?
The Accounts Payable process looks different from company to company. While some large organizations have fully automated their AP system, this option is usually too expensive. It leaves businesses to leverage capabilities of ERP systems or other tools to manage approval processes, while still burdening AP teams to manually enter invoice information. Such disruptions slow the workflow and create potential for delays and mistakes.
What is the problem?
Despite having a variety of processing tools, companies continue to struggle to automate the entire AP process, creating inefficiencies in resources, time, and money. The few organizations that have managed full digitization realize that typically these systems are too expensive, difficult to set up, and non-customizable. Other companies that opt for partial automation must deal with the gaps left behind. Most notably, the varying inflow of vendor invoices through digital, email, and paper formats creates the following problems:
- Excessive vendor communication to ensure invoices were received.
- Inability to track payment schedules.
- Frustration on AP teams from mundane data entry.
Simply put, the AP process, to a large extent, is still very inefficient.
What is the solution?
The solution is simple. Look for an automated workflow tool that streamlines the Accounts Payable process from start to finish. It should have the ability to eliminate manual data entry by correctly leveraging Optimal Character Recognition (OCR) to absorb data from invoices, while validating vendors and presenting supporting documents for verification and approval. Having a system that works seamlessly with existing systems at low cost and a quick install is a definite added advantage.
The real solution to a slow AP routine is ONE streamlined process. Companies that switch to one automated AP system see a 40% increase in efficiency and an 11% decrease in costs annually.
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