The Rise of the Machine. This was a movie theme designed to strike terror into the hearts of movie goers around the word. However, for companies, new technology has evoked a very different and positive emotion.
Constantly improved technology, especially in the form of automation, has been the key to streamlining work operations across multiple industries and functions. From robot assembly lines to internal workflows, technology has saved record time, reduced costs, and fueled improved strategic decisions for organizations. Let’s consider two automated financial systems in particular: AP Automation and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
What is AP Automation?
The accounts payable process is a key part of the finance department for the simple reason that it is the method used whenever an organization must pay a third party. At a minimum, the AP process will handle invoicing and billing, and a complete end-to-end process is capable of handling payments as well.
Automation is revolutionizing all of this, transforming a manually based, labor intensive, time-consuming, and error-prone process into a streamlined organization-wide resource center. According to the IOFM, “As organizations aim to grow their business and increase profitability, visibility into where their capital is being spent becomes more valuable than ever. AP automation technologies offer this enhanced visibility into company spend, empowering financial leaders to make data-driven decisions that enable growth.”
Based on statistics, the benefits extend far past visibility. According to Levvel, companies that have embraced automation have saved on average 80% of their processing costs and cut cycle times by 10-20%.
For example, consider that on average it costs $9.12 to manually process an invoice. If a small business team handles 100 invoices a month, the annual cost of forgoing automation adds up to $18,348. A platform such as Yooz can perform the same work with fewer errors for just $2,388 a year. That’s a savings of $15,960! Now consider that there are no constraints to the number of invoices that can be processed. Unlike a manual-based operation, there is no need to hire additional help and little to no extra time required for the increased work volume. Even when using estimated numbers, the ROI is immediate.
But how does it work?
Here are the basic steps of Yooz invoice processing:
Invoices are received (by email, ERP, PDFs, etc.). Information is then searched, extracted, and exported into retrievable formats such as a database, excel sheet, or ERP system according to predefined rules. This action occurs 24/7 so there is no delay.
The data undergoes a review to ensure that all the information is correct.
No more transporting invoices by hand! The entire approval process is customized according to the specific needs of the individual organization’s accounting operations.
All information is updated in real time to the ERP system.
ERP and the Organization
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an industry term referring to a business process management software – typically a suite of integrated applications – that integrates all major business functions and runs them within a single system. From finance to human resources, product planning to customer service, ERP software pulls all the information together and provides a set of insights that help companies manage their operations.
Some types of ERP are industry specific and tailored to address specific core needs or conditions. Dealer Management Systems (DMS), also known as an auto dealership management system, is one such example. A DMS is a bundled management software system designed specifically for helping automobile dealers manage their vehicle inventory, orders, jobs, customer information, credit reports, etc.
If I Have an ERP do I Need AP Automation?
The answer is probably yes. Many companies with a solid ERP system still have manual, paper-based work activities that exist within the AP process. If so, your company is losing both money and opportunity. An ERP with an integrated AP automation functionality can offer extra features and enhancements that meet any unique needs of an organization. Together the two can provide a seamless experience that features increased payments speeds, enables total transparency into spending, is easily scalable with growth. After all, why work harder when you can work smarter?
Yooz Plus CDK: A True Partnership
The integration of ERP and AP automation is not always a smooth path. However, some companies have developed specific, integrated solutions to achieve an easy, seamless, unified, and performance-enhancing experience. Yooz – a cutting-edge, cloud-based invoice and payment automation platform – and CDK Global – a leading provider of technology solutions to the automotive, heavy truck, recreation, and heavy equipment industries – is one such example.
However, the Yooz and CDK partnership goes further by offering much more than just integration for online invoice management. In fact, the Yooz platform is a true extension of the CDK dealer management system. Combined together, the system features a process that offers the end user an unparalleled opportunity to get more done in less time with greater accuracy regardless of the number of locations. This includes:
When a business converts to a paperless operation, they experience multiple benefits. Eliminating paper (of course), removing paper-associated costs including transport and storage, and even reducing the costs and fines or fees associated with late payments.
Transforming invoice tasks into a digital workflow frees employees from time-intensive, repetitive manual tasks. Automation eliminates the need to transport documents throughout the entire approval workflow or enter and verify each piece of data by hand. Instead, the entire process is reduced from weeks and months to minutes and hours. This allows the dealerships to focus on what they do best: sales.
Together Yooz and CDK have ensured a low maintenance, highly adaptive approval workflow. In addition, Yooz utilizes best practices from across the automotive industry to accommodate any addition or change in users.
Increased accuracy and reduced errorsOne slip of a finger can result in extra – or less – zeros that have a dramatic impact on results. By eliminating manual tasks, AP automation reduces the opportunity this kind of error.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, Yooz and CDK have extra integration and flexibility that offer process enhancements to achieve an unparalleled experience. For example, Yooz can pull in line items from pre-invoicing with POs. This allows Yooz to tie in the pre-invoice with the invoice, creating another opportunity of checks-and-balance. Yooz will also send an actual image and audit history with each invoice that is stored within the CDK system. The end user can select from a list of pending invoices ready for review and see all the related information at their fingertips. At that point the invoice can be posted to the general ledger and/or journal, sent for reprocessing in case of error, and of course remains for reference.