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5 mins read

Accounts Payable Automation

An Accounts Payable Remote Process Is the New Normal

by Yooz U.S. Editorial Staff on 04.9.2020

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Working from home.  Telecommuting.  Working on-the-go.  Whatever you call it, more employees are working from someplace other than their employer’s offices, and the numbers are rising. That means that AP departments who heavily rely on manual processes may need to consider Accounts Payable Automation to streamline their workflow whether they’re in or out of the office.

 

The Risks of Not Having a Remote Accounts Payable Plan

 

Who makes sure expense reports and vendor invoices are processed, routed to the right person for approval, and payments are initiated when the main office is closed for potentially many months to come? And as the invoices pile up, it can create hiccups with vendors, lengthen the pay cycle and lead to late fees that will negatively affect the company and its AP department.

 

That is why forward-thinking AP teams have already begun to do their work remotely, either because they were on the road often or are currently sheltering in place. A survey by AP Now, found that majority of AP teams couldn’t work remotely because their job required them to open invoices, scan or key them in and make sure they are processed. Shortly after administering the same survey, they found that the number of AP teams that could work remotely rose to 84 percent whether they were working from home at that time or in the process of establishing a WFH process.

 

We believe that the drastic increase is contributed to more companies accepting that work-from-home arrangements help businesses reduce office overhead, quickly expand into new markets, and better compete for talent, particularly young workers. Working remotely has even helped employees eliminate their commute, maximize their time on the clock, and have greater flexibility in where they live. 

 

In that sense, challenges that disturb the business’ workflow, like the COVID-19 pandemic, have served as a wake-up call and a catalyst for the adoption of cloud-based AP automation and detaching from a traditional manual accounts payable process or on-premise system that can:

 

  • Increase processing time to three weeks or longer
  • Generate manual handling costs between $9 and $20 per document
  • Incur late fees for up to a third of invoices
  • Carry the risk of erroneous or fraudulent invoices slipping through

 

Therefore, AP’s new agenda should be to automate and support the recovery, according to the latest “State of ePayables 2020” report by research firm Ardent Partners, since that function is in a unique position to provide timely data and intelligence on what an organization spends, where and with whom. “AP can help sourcing teams make better decisions and help streamline the onboarding of what is potentially a large number of new suppliers.” And going digital has proven itself to have tangible benefits since end-to-end AP Automation beats the average AP unit’s benchmarks across all categories such as: 

 

  • The cost to process a single invoice drops from $10.89 to $2.56. 
  • Processing time goes down from 10 days to 3.1 days. 
  • The invoice exception rate drops from 24.6% to 10.6%. 
  • The number of invoices that are processed “straight through” more than doubles, from 30.4% to 67.2%

 

It’s clear that businesses who have not prepared to take accounts payable remote, not only risk losing time and money, but a competitive edge.

 

Choosing the Best Cloud-Based Accounts Payable Remote Solution

 

There are many ways in which Yooz’s cloud-based AP automation software can keep your back office up and running even when employees can’t be there. We’re going to share five ways that make Yooz the best cloud-based accounts payable remote solution to handle your AP workflow from beginning to end:

 

Fewer manual tasks.

 

The smart data extraction technology built into Yooz’s cloud-based accounts payable solutions eliminate the menial tasks that bog staff down. Our technology extracts and validates the data from paper and electronic invoices (including invoices sent as PDF e-mail attachments).  Machine learning enables the solution to deliver better data extraction results over time.  Extracted data is then matched against information residing in an ERP or accounting system, and the images and data are digitally routed based on pre-set business rules.  Our leading cloud-based solutions also integrate with hundreds of ERP systems, enabling organizations to seamlessly upload the data on approved invoices without manual keying.  

 

Fast approvals.

 

Few organizations have the luxury of waiting to pay their bills until someone can get into the office.  Slow invoice approval cycle times result in late-payment penalties, strained supplier relationships, supply chain disruptions, missed early payment discounts, and less visibility into liabilities. Yooz’s cloud-based accounts payable solution ensures timely payment of invoices by digitally routing invoices for approval, based on the organization’s business requirements. 
Invoices can be approved at any time, from any location, using any PC, laptop or mobile device. 

 

This is possible because Yooz comes with an app that’s always at the disposal of the AP team, making AP Automation as easy (and almost as fun, we might add) as any regular smartphone experience. Users with the right role and permission can perform all functions right from their device: viewing and approving any invoice, addressing exceptions, and initiating payments. 

 

Real-time visibility.

 

Yooz’s cloud-based AP solution provides real-time insights into the metrics that finance executives will need to help their organization grow. Configurable dashboards graphically display the status of invoices and other critical information, including spend by supplier. Our smart AP technology also gives Accounts payable managers the ability to always see exactly where invoices stand in the approval process. And users can search data, create ad hoc reports and export data for stakeholders.

 

Easy deployment.

 

Organizations don’t have the appetite for a risky, costly and resource-intensive deployment.  Unlike on-premise solutions, Yooz’s cloud-based solution can be deployed without a large upfront capital expenditure, complicated hardware and software installation, or a tricky network integration. 

 

Our leading cloud-based accounts payable solution integrates seamlessly with 250 financial systems, reducing IT’s involvement.  Modern user interfaces and online training help get users up-to-speed on the system fast, no matter where they are located.  As a result, organizations can get started with Yooz in a fraction of the time that it takes to deploy an on-premise solution. 

 

Ironclad security.

 

With Yooz, there is no need to forego security and data privacy safeguards when employees are working remotely. Yooz’s leading cloud-based solutions incorporate user authentication, role- and user-based permissions, automatic enforcement of business rules, separation of duties, logging of all activities performed in the system, and readily available audit information.  Our cloud-based accounts payable solutions also eliminate the possibility of images or data being discarded or destroyed ahead of deadline. 

 

Bottom line, Yooz’s state-of-the-art cloud-based accounts payable automation solution enables AP departments to maintain frictionless business operations, and provide organizations of all sizes with the flexibility, control and accountability they need to keep their invoice processing moving when staff work remotely or on-the-go. So, close your Zoom window for a moment and think: Do you really need to be in your office to approve invoices?

Sources

[1]

AP Now: https://www.ap-now.com/public/AP-Now-Podcast.cfm