We regularly hear AP managers complain that their staff spend too much time copying, distributing, searching for and filing paper invoices instead of focusing on more valuable, relevant and rewarding activities.
Receiving a PDF invoice that is then printed and manually routed and keyed into the ERP is not a paperless process. Printing an emailed invoice to get a written signature from the approving manager is obviously not paperless either.
If you recognize this pain, there’s no need for embarrassment, you’re far from alone with this guilty practice. But you know there has to be a better way, right?
AP invoice automation is THE way to get there
By automating your AP you have a fully digital process that will not only help you ditch the hassle and costs associated with paper, it will also help you save hours of time – eliminating friction across your organization and saving tons of money.
With automated AP, your invoices are entered into a digital workflow where smart business rules automate the coding and distribution of an invoice based on type, supplier or other parameters that are important for your business. The approval process is completed in an online tool, or even on a mobile device. You don’t even have to chase up managers for their approvals, the system will send automatic reminders according to your preferred schedule. Once approved – and that is no longer a pain in the *** chore for those involved - the AP system will send all details to your ERP system for final posting and payment.
If you work with purchase orders and goods receipts, you know what a headache that can be when there are deviations on the invoice. Have you received all the goods? Did they invoice at the right price? Have they added special charges? Do they continue to make it a challenge to actually pay them because their billing process is antiquated and never seems to relate to what you’ve ordered from them? The pain is further piled on when there are multi-PO invoices and pages of line items on the invoice.
The good news is that with next-generation AP automation even such “weird and wonderful” examples can be streamlined and automated by applying advanced matching capabilities to maximize touchless processing, and only an invoice that requires attention is put in front of the right person at the right time, so they can apply their business expertise.
Happy days, indeed, and happy staff … and happy suppliers!
The gains – control, visibility and time for the fun stuff
What’s in it for you? As the AP manager you’ll gain full control and visibility to the process while you’ll let the AP invoice automation system do all the heavy lifting. Plus, you’ll save lots of time for you and your team that you can focus on the fun stuff, such as analyzing the process flow, measuring your team’s performance success and ensuring you capture discounted pricing from your suppliers since you are now always paying your invoices on or ahead of due date.
What’s the catch?
Well, obviously you’ll need to implement an AP invoice automation solution that integrates with your ERP. Don’t let that be a barrier to you even considering an AP automation initiative - this does not have to be a lengthy and IT-heavy project, and shouldn’t be.
Moreover, you should consider working with a partner that can share their best practices, tips and tricks for AP automation and help you move to the 21st century. Download this whitepaper 10 considerations when selecting an AP automation solution
for valuable tips.