Most signs point to the economy finally coming out of its pandemic state of shock. Businesses are reopening, a growing number of employees are coming back to their workplace, and even professional gatherings and trade shows are on the calendar for late summer and fall.
Some companies had the foresight to push ahead with their digital transformation plans to be ready for things to pick up again. One place where this is especially true is in the accounts payable function which, experts agree, plays a critical role in ensuring an organization's financial well-being. This means that accounts payable automation is key since it touches the entire lifecycle of economic activity and service, from receiving and fulfilling orders to paying invoices on time.
A company that, regardless of its size, uses an intelligent and automated system to handle everything from purchase to payment, can accomplish several goals including:
- unlock significant cost and time savings,
- boost morale among its staff,
- build better relationships with its vendors and suppliers and
- create resilience that will pay off in good time as well as during another unexpected disruption.
Why It Makes Sense To Invest In Accounts Payable Automation Software
The market watchers from Levvel Research have done a deep dive into why an organization ought to invest in accounts payable automation software to support their financial department with their “2021 Payables Insight Report.” This 30-page report provides detailed information, walking organizations through the process of examining their AP function and assessing available options for software, complete with a buyer’s guide. And the reasons for upgrading the AP workflow look more promising than ever:
“The invoicing process has modernized a great deal from 2020 to 2021… The methods organizations use to image and route purchasing documents have shifted, so now a majority of them use software in these processes. Additionally, a larger share use third-party plugin tools, as opposed to a homegrown or ERP-based software. Roughly 80% of respondent organizations in last year’s Payables survey expressed interest in a third-party, cloud-based AP tool, and it appears that many implemented such a software.”
Levvel also spells out reasons why AP automation is a must for a business. There are varying objectives at play, starting with capture. From the very beginning of this accounting process, companies should strive to receive as few paper invoices as possible as well as cut back on emailed invoices. All this since paper records and datum are more prone to fraud, maintain many of the frustrations of paper, and - most importantly - are still an unstructured format. That means humans or smart software need to extract the data nuggets that need to be processed including amounts, dates, accounts, and PO numbers.
Nothing Beats Intelligent Accounts Payable Automation Software In The Cloud
With all of the labor involved manual entry, scanning of documents, or outsourcing make economic sense for businesses, according to Levvel. “Implementing a capture tool equipped with OCR and electronic invoicing capabilities is the best of both worlds. It offers long-run savings while retaining control.”
The list of advantages for automation solutions continues at the next step of accounts payable automation: routing and approval. And there’s really no need to stick to the old ways of walking the paper to an approver’s desk, mailing it to another office, or scanning the invoice and emailing it. In fact, in a global business environment, doing any of this kind of inter-location communication is slow and ineffective.
As the pandemic’s restrictions have made abundantly clear, these approaches suffer from multiple limitations and can seriously disrupt a business when everybody is forced to work from home. Compare that to an automated system with processes to direct records for approval based on GL code, department, spend total, and cost center.
Accounts Payable Automation Software Does It Faster, Better, Cheaper
Levvel’s take on why accounts payable automation solution and software is a must-have in 2021: “The top benefits to using AP software are quicker approval of invoices; reduced processing time, errors, and paper volume; and improved employee productivity.”
Levvel recommends organizations answer the following questions before selecting their accounts payable automation software:
- Quantify invoice volume, supplier count, and average document touches.
- Evaluate the invoicing process across the entire organization.
- Think into the future: “The companies that learn from this time period will be able to apply digital transformation strategies to their back-office operations and their broader organizations.”
Accounts Payable Automation Software Frees Your Hands and Heads
When you streamline and automate your accounts payable workflow with Yooz, cost and time savings are just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to robotic process automation solution and deep learning algorithms, the platform has enough smarts under the hood to gather real-time financial intelligence from every document it sees. It frees employees’ hands and heads to focus on higher-value tasks such as resolving exceptions and catching fraud and errors. And it provides the entire team a better understanding of the day-to-day cash flow every step of the way.
Here’s how a state of the art AP automation platform gets the job done:
Capture: Ingest and capture any type of invoice in any format to make sure a company can start its digital transformation journey on its terms.
→ Automation is universal, reliable, and captures any document format (a core feature of Yooz).
Extract: Correctly extract all relevant data points from a document and do so out of the box, without lengthy human training or constant intervention.
→ Yooz automation is up and running in an hour. Without training, it correctly reads 80% of all invoices. That number jumps to the high 90s with every invoice the system reads and understands.
Route: Know to whom to send invoices for approval and let recipients give the green light from anywhere - at work, at home or on the road.
→ Intelligently route invoices for approval according to rules the company can set, even to multiple recipients. It works from a browser, tablet or smartphone so disruptions don’t slow you down.
Monitor: Recognize duplicates and fraud and when due dates are coming up, so a company can cut down on errors and lock in early-pay discounts and rebates.
→ Accounts payable automation can cut cost and cycle time by 80% and drives down errors by at least a third.
Pay: Connect to popular payment gateways so nobody needs to cut and mail checks anymore.
→ Yooz covers the entire purchase-to-payment workflow and has partnered with leading payment providers to make initiating payments a snap.
Reconcile: Integrates with your existing financial software or ERP system, so a PO can be matched with an invoice when it first comes in and again when it’s paid.
→ Yooz features seamless integration with more than 250 of the most popular ERP and financial software programs, ensuring that things run smoothly.
Remember: Audits and archiving should be a thing of the past once you move accounts payable automation into the cloud. No more filing cabinets and time-consuming paper chases when questions pop up or a vendor wants to know where their funds are.
→ Yooz reads, understands, and indexes each word and number in an invoice and other documents it sees So, searching for some manual datum now turns into finding it with a few keystrokes. AP staff can get a straight-A for archiving and audits.
Rebooting For The Recovery With Accounts Payable Automation Software
AP Automation in the cloud is one more thing. It’s the best way to reboot and stay resilient. Consider it the ultimate insurance policy to get digital transformation right without being locked into a specific vendor or incurring massive costs. Volume pricing and automatic updates with new features mean companies will always be at the forefront of innovation
Yooz is constantly innovating for its clients, offering them smarter ways to streamline their accounts payable workflow. If you're ready to take your invoicing process to the next level, why not give us a call?