5 mins read

Improve Accounts Payable Efficiency

Harnessing Real-Time AP Data for Strategic Decisions

by Yooz on 01.13.2022

Real time data

Next time you process an invoice, try to see beyond the amount and due date. That invoice isn’t simply a paper or number, rather it is a small piece of information that fits perfectly into the bigger puzzle of how your organization manages its cash flow and makes strategic financial decisions. With intelligent accounts payable automation, that data becomes a valuable asset that helps you improve accounts payable efficiency.


Data is what fuels your financial decisions, starting with whom you paid for what products and services under what terms and when. Nice in theory, but if you suffer from missing or inaccurate data you are setting yourself up for a world of pain. That means delays, unnecessary expenses in the form of exceptions and late fees and - in the worst case - flagging productivity that eventually leads to failure to keep up with the competition that’s eager to embrace digital transformation.


Most financial leaders agree with this assessment, according to Ardent Partners’ most recent report on the “State of ePayables in 2021.” When they polled experts in the field, more than half stated that “improving AP reporting and data analytics” was their top priority, followed by “eliminating paper invoices and reducing manual tasks” (41%).

 

Avoid Friction and Fraud with AP Data Analysis

 

Success boils down to having an efficient and accurate process in place to identify, collect, and invoice data effortlessly and with as little human intervention as possible. AP automation is that process, digitizing the data collection and then feeding the business intelligence or data visualization tech stack of the finance office with fresh and actionable input.


Sticking to manual processes, on the other hand, throws sand into the engines of the AP function, resulting in unnecessary friction and frustration. When staff open envelopes, sift through paper invoices, and key in important data points such as amounts, due dates and banking information, each transaction creates a new opportunity for errors and mistakes that are entirely avoidable in this time and age.


Automation with a cloud-based platform such as Yooz almost immediately improves the collection and analysis of invoice data. That’s because it will capture, read, review, and pay invoices with unmatched speed, ease of use, and security. That way, a business can process and pay invoices on time, locking in early-pay discounts, avoiding late fees, and improving the relationship with its vendors. AP automation also helps amass a treasure trove of financial intelligence that the entire organization can tap into through an intuitive dashboard in their browser or on their mobile devices.

 

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Visibility Matters: Why AP Data Analysis Is Going Mainstream

 

What sounds like a no-brainer in the age of digital transformation is far from mainstream. According to research by Global Strategy, most finance departments spend only 20% of their time analyzing the data while the remaining 80% is dedicated to collecting, cleaning, formatting and preparing the data.


In short, finance leaders from the CFO on down to AP managers spend far too much time on the menial details and prep work instead of using clean and accurate real-time data to set performance metrics and get the important stuff done.


In an ideal world, they would use that type of data to gain visibility into their cash flow and establish much-needed transparency across a whole range of activities to make better financial decisions at the right time. Just think of how a granular understanding of payment data could help negotiating more favorable terms with your key vendors.

 

Only End-to-End Platforms Deliver on AP Data Analysis

 

 

The ability to process and manage data efficiently is a strategic task for every company, no matter its size or industry. To be sure, a multitude of digital tools have made their entry to the enterprise. They promise help with facilitating communications, sharing, mobility, data manipulation, process harmonization, and reporting. But not all tools deliver on that promise, especially if they offer a piecemeal approach or are cobbled together over time.


How, then, are top-performing AP departments tackling the challenge of capturing and processing invoice data in real-time? They are using an end-to-end platform like Yooz that lets them automate data collection with the most innovative and powerful technologies from purchase to payment. This frees their hands and heads so they can dedicate precious time to data analysis and truly value-added tasks.


That change comes with tangible benefits. Accounts payable data analysis not only saves time and money on every invoice but does something much more valuable. It turns the AP function from a back-office cost center into a value driver. In fact, invoice processing becomes a strategic asset that empowers the entire organization to make smarter financial decisions, which is particularly important during turbulent times.

 

Get In the Fast Lane for Accounts Payable Data Analysis with Yooz

 

Yooz puts companies into the fast lane for cutting-edge data collection and analysis. For starters, the cloud-based solution is up and running in an hour or less, so onboarding a main office or a new location doesn’t get any easier. Its multi-channel capture engine routes any document type into a single automated process spanning collection, sorting, identification, indexing and archiving.


With Yooz, you can import invoices and documents from any source, for instance dragging and dropping an email attachment, scanning paper invoices or snapping a photo). Thanks to a powerful combination of robotic process automation (RPA) and machine learning algorithms, the system can read and understand every relevant bit of information on an invoice.


Growing invoice volume is not a problem either. AI-driven auto-sorting and auto-split capabilities automatically clean up batch imports before smart data extraction automatically pulls all the information you need and maps it to the correct fields in real-time. Waiting for hours or days to get the data out of your invoices is a thing of the past, as are manual errors or attempts at duplicate billing and outright fraud. What’s more, the more invoices Yooz sees, the smarter and faster it becomes.

 

A Fast and Furious Cycle: Fresh AP Data in, Financial Intelligence Out

 

A holistic automation platform seamlessly integrates with an extensive list of financial systems and ERPs. This means that fresh data pulled from invoices as they come in can go right into your company’s ERP system of choice. Good, clean, and accurate data provided by a cutting-edge solution for AP automation makes it a snap to mark purchase orders as paid and - more importantly - boost your business intelligence.


Best-in-class businesses have realized how important this capability is. According to Ardent Partners, the top 20% of enterprises with the lowest invoice processing costs and the shortest cycle times consider AP data analysis as critical for better decision making. When it comes to AP automation, the adage “you can only manage what you measure” holds true.

 

Going forward, the strategic importance of AP data analysis will only keep growing. Organizations are drowning in data, but most are still thirsty for information. Yooz is a game changer because it lets any business process significant volumes of data in no time to get a cleaner and more concise visualization. Managers and other team members suddenly have a powerful tool to map out and plot the right decisions at the right time.

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