The Case for Accounts Payable Automation
Did you know that most enterprises have hundreds if not more application programs in which to manage? I mention this because it relates to how hard it is to automate business processes these days. Accounts payable departments in particular struggle to achieve invoice automation when information resides within separate systems. There’s a lot of stopping and starting of work while employees search for supporting documentation. What a lack of productivity!
Accounts payable automation, on the other hand, puts invoices and supporting documents in a single document repository like OnBase. That way, data is where you need it and can be used to your advantage. Without it, you get clunky workflows which cause accounts payable traffic jams. Consider how employees have to login in and out of various applications to find receipts, contracts, and invoices. All the while clients lose patience and so too, do your employees. Meanwhile, your reputation is at stake as you grapple with a not so great way of managing contract negotiations, vendor relations, employee retention, not to mention overspending due to a lack of invoice automation.
That’s the bad news. There is good news. As I mentioned, accounts payable automation is possible with help from a document management system like OnBase. Application data is scanned or imported into a central repository. The data is then mined for use in workflows. Super simple and ideal.
The Case for Accounts Payable Automation
As an expert in invoice automation for the past ten years, I’ve helped hundreds of companies large and small establish automated workflows this way. Do you know what else? It saved them up to $8 per invoice in processing fees. Not to mention lightened AP workloads by more than 50 percent. Want to know more? In this piece, I’ll give you even more reasons why invoice automation via a DMS is the way to go for invoice automation success.
1. Invoice automation lets you manage documents that drive invoice processes:
When you have data in one place like OnBase, you have increased visibility into every invoice in your company. When it comes time for an AP associate to process invoices, they have all the supporting detail they need to get the job done. Sounds ideal? That’s because it is.
2. Cashflow is at its finest when it’s automated:
You’ll know if approvals are waiting and what’s up for review. You also gain visibility into missing vendors and can see what is posted to your financial system.
3. Workflow distribution takes on new meaning:
When you have a centralized view of invoicing, you get to see what’s working and what’s not. It’s like being behind the wheel of your car. You can disrupt bottlenecks and see to more even workflow distribution.
4. Capture and import multiple file types and formats:
Using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, you can extract relevant data to your advantage. I’ve seen clients with clipboards next to their computer screens. Users like this spend hours keying in data into their system. An automated accounts payable system does away with manual processes such as this. Not to mention eliminates errors you can do without.
5. Create custom workflows for a true automated accounts payable system:
Using pre-determined business rules, you can set the invoice in motion any way you want. As soon as one step is completed, the next one is automatically cued without any user intervention required on behalf of your staff.
6. One Screen. All the results you want:
Since a DMS like OnBase integrates with any ERP system, a few mouse clicks are all it takes to access accounts payable workflow. No need to train employees on even more applications. Users who are used to logging into their own system, continue to do so. Your accounts payables team meanwhile will have everything they need to do business, such as invoices, receipts, packing slips, checks, and vendor contracts within the automated accounts payable system.
Accounts payable automation saves you costs, headaches, and valuable time that can be better spent on other projects. The clients I work with tell me they can’t believe how much easier it is to do business with automated workflows helping them out. When you have invoice automation in place, there’s no guesswork. What’s more is that automated accounts payable workflows require minimal coding. Something many IT managers will enjoy.