Business consumers have begun to realize the substanstial benefits of using fully functional accounts payable automation solutions. These solutions combine granular line-item data capture, ERP integration and data entry, and sophisticated matching/decision processes to reduce the costs associated with the AP process by some 50 percent to 70 percent, while reducing errors and providing a credible audit trail.
While many customers have addressed the concept of AP automation, the majority of solutions lack the integration or sophistication to deliver maximum value and systematic improvement, leaving many parts of the process still manual or problematic. This results in companies remaining suspectible to gaps, from a process and financial perspective.
The next phase of innovation extends the same concepts to other transactional data and documents that are associated with ERP systems and business processes. Examples include sales orders, bills of lading, contracts, packing slips, supplier and customer master data, HR documents, insurance statements and claim forms, credit applications, and historical records.
Through the use of advanced data capture, appropriate ERP integrations, and complex decision-making criteria, these next levels of business processes can be automated to produce similar systematic benefits to the AP process. These benefits include:
- Reduced processing time and costs.
- Better data availability throughout the organization.
- Electronic storage and retrieval.
- Reduced data entry errors and detailed audit trails.
- Automated exceptions handling and error identification.
- The ability to link workflows and initiate independent processes.
The use of a well-integrated workflow system to manage the additional transactional processes that are not supported by the ERP system will save time and money, provide management with crucial information, and reduce the need for manual labor in the back office.