How much do you want to waste on “shipping and handling?” We’re not talking about ordering items from vendors that your company needs to do business, but managing the constant stream of documents that affect your cash flow, productivity and eventually profitability. Hundreds or thousands of invoices, purchase orders, expense reports and the like.
They come in on a daily basis, some on paper, some electronically, and they all end up in the Accounts Payable department which has to open, enter, process and route them as efficiently and quickly as possible so they can be approved and paid. Market researchers across the board agree that many companies haven’t fully grasped how much time and money they can save if they streamlined or intelligently automated their workflow.
An easy way to think about it is the 80/20 rule. Which means your company can save 80 percent if you automate the AP process, but only 20 percent of companies really see it as a priority they should invest in. That sizable gap presents a clear opportunity to gain a competitive edge.
Case in point: Ardent Partners’ most recent report on “The State of ePayables 2020.” Its authors stress that the AP function has a unique, strategic role to play because it ensures a company can continue to operate in turbulent times and, more importantly, let it boost its competitive fitness for the coming recovery.
Yet the understanding of what intelligent AP Automation can do for the organization as a whole is still lacking, according to Ardent. When they polled more than 200 AP and finance executives, only 23 percent said their top priority for this year was “getting the budget to invest in automation,” dead last after goals such as shortening cycle times and eliminating paper.
Which is ironic because automation brings all those goals within reach, and then some. Making the AP process touchless from purchase to payment requires an initial investment in a scalable and secure cloud solution, but allocating budget for it provides a host of immediate payoffs that can be summed up with one handy number: 80. That’s, on average, what a company can save when it drops manual processes and goes digital.
Here’s a closer look why your organization should be among the 20 percent who lock in the 80 percent advantage:
- With AP automation, the cost to process a single invoice drops from $15 to only $2.36, which translates to 84% savings.
- Cut down cycle time by 80 percentas well. Invoices can be approved in a few days, or even hours, instead of several weeks.
- AP specialists are suddenly free to pursue value-added tasks instead of being bogged down in manual processes and data entry. By some counts, an FTE using AP Automation is able to process 16 times more invoices a month, giving them back precious time to better engage with vendors and other partners.
- Using a cloud-based solution such as Yooz means no more money wasted on shipping invoices to a central location for processing or storing boxes of paper documents. Instead, search for any keyword in any invoice in your browser.
- 80% of firms, surveyed by Levvel Research, receive invoices that offer discounts for early payment. With Yooz, they can strategically balance those discounts against cash flow. “A shortened life cycle means that instead of paying late fees on invoices, the company can make payments on time and even early in order to capture discounts,” according to Levvel’s 2020 Payables Insight Report.
It’s true, AP Automation requires some initial investment, but it’s money well spent on innovation and building your company’s competitive fitness. In the grand scheme of things, you need to spend some money to save a lot of money.