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6 mins read

Accounts Payable Fraud

Make No Mistake: How Automation Nixes Human Accounting Errors

by Yooz on 10.12.2021

accounting human errors

To err is human, but in accounting it can have serious financial consequences. When staff have to manually enter details from invoices and other documents they will inevitably make mistakes. Accounting errors range from incorrect tax and purchase order numbers to wrong amounts and even company addresses that don’t match up with the existing system information. 


Taken together, those typos will lead to delays as accounts payable teams have to spend extra time in their attempt to confirm the correct details. Even worse, if mistakes slip through, costly accounts payable fraud becomes a tangible threat to your bottom line. 


Consider the situation where a vendor sends in the same invoice twice, but with a different invoice number. Or a fraudster pretends to be an existing vendor and requests to change banking information at the last moment, trying to divert outstanding payments to an illegitimate account. Even under the most harmless circumstances, a duplicate invoice that goes undetected will cost an organization first money and then precious time to find the error and reverse the payment to claw back the funds. 


Purchase-to-pay Automation Stamps Out Human Accounting errors


In sum, the costs of human accounting errors add up quickly, from late payments that incur fees and will prevent you from cashing in on early-pay discounts all the way to false and outright fraudulent payments. It’s a problem that intelligent purchase-to-pay automation can correct.


That’s exactly what finance leaders and AP pros told us when we surveyed more than 1,000 of them in the US and seven European countries this year for the first “State of Automation in Finance” report commissioned by Yooz. We wanted to know what issues companies large and small across many industries were facing before, during and after the peak of the pandemic. 


It turns out that almost half of all companies said COVID-19 had a significant to extreme impact on their ability to process invoices on time. They also ranked the key reasons for late payments:

  • Validating invoices (58%)

  • Administrative errors (30%)

  • Slow processes (29%)


Companies Bet On Digital Transformation To Slash Human Accounting Errors


To tackle all three challenges, companies are speeding up their digital transformation efforts, giving priority to automation of their accounts payable function. The three goals they want to achieve with an intelligent purchase-to-pay platform such as Yooz are improved financial control (45%), reducing errors (43%) and reducing expenses (32%). 


Being swamped with paper invoices, not being able to process, validate and pay them on time, and being at risk of fraud -- these challenges are all intertwined, as the report found:


“More than one-third of finance leaders said time-consuming processes were the biggest problem related to manual accounts payable tasks, with 28% claiming processes are too complex. Issues such as manual validation of invoices, reliance on paper documents that need to be printed and shared across the business for authorization, result not only in delays but also a risk of errors and loss, especially across multi-site organizations.”


In fact, when you drill deeper, you discover that for most companies, reducing errors is a higher priority than preventing fraud. Why is that? Because for many businesses, the risks associated with financial data security and cyber attacks are often the result of internal human error. And that’s something that can be easily addressed with an automated AP solution that intelligently streamlines and safeguards the workflow from end to end.


How Yooz Rising Does Away With Human Accounting Errors


A company that implements purchase-to-pay automation can tackle every single one of these issues in one fell swoop. That’s because Yooz has spent the last decade building the smartest, most secure and most easy-to-use platform to handle everything, from the moment you place an order to the moment the vendor gets paid. Yooz Rising empowers companies to capture, review, approve, pay and export invoices to their ERP system with unmatched speed and security. It cuts costs by 80% and reduces cycle time from weeks to a few days or even less.


Here are key benefits for businesses:

  • Enjoy a completely paperless AP workflow

  • Enable suppliers to participate in the process and build better relationships

  • Shine with same day invoice approval

  • Capture every early payment discount available

  • Keep the team in the loop with mobile access to approve invoices.


It’s surprising that too many small to medium businesses are still relying on manual processes and spreadsheets to handle their invoices. This kind of keyboard chaos is prone to costly mistakes, but it’s also overdue for improvement. 


Prevent Human Accounting Errors and Fraud With a Secure and Intuitive System


The Yooz platform can be up and running without training in an hour and out of the gate correctly reads more than 80% of all incoming documents and expenses, even if they are submitted in a mix of formats, from paper and fax to email or electronic submissions. One web interface reliably does it all, from creating that initial purchase request and generating a purchase order to processing an invoice and paying it on time every time.


As a cloud-based service, Yooz makes use of robotic process automation (RPA) and the latest in machine learning algorithms to understand every invoice in a matter of seconds, extracting all relevant information, correctly GL-coding documents and routing them to the right recipients. This type of straight-through processing with as little human intervention as possible unlocks the full potential of intelligent automation. 


To cut back on human accounting errors, be they malicious or honest mistakes, the platform performs three-way matching before any payment goes out. First, the invoice is matched to the corresponding PO or other documents on file. Once that has happened, Yooz performs a balance check, a tax amount check (if applicable), and finally an expense account check. And if you pay vendors with a virtual credit card through YoozPay, you get additional fraud protection and a detailed audit trail. Stamping out human accounting errors and accounting fraud doesn’t get any easier than that. 


Lose Human Accounting Errors, Gain Confidence 


As a result, the number of exceptions which would otherwise require time-consuming human intervention such as hunting for documents and calling other departments or vendors drops by more than half, from one in four to merely one in ten invoices. 


As market researcher Ardent Partners found in its most recent “State of ePayables Report” earlier this year, “top-performing businesses are spending less time hunting down additional information and filling in critical data gaps for invoices. This has a cascading effect on other financial measures, including … reduced exposure to payment risk.” That’s crucial, especially during turbulent times when staff is short, dispersed across remote locations and opportunistic fraud attacks are on the rise. 


Tackling digital transformation with Yooz, one invoice at a time, has another big benefit.  When your AP staff have their hands -- and heads -- free to focus on the big stuff, job satisfaction goes up. Using intelligent purchase-to-pay automation gives everyone involved more confidence to do what they’re best at, make no mistake.