What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation, at it's core, is a fundamental shift to digitize a company’s business processes, its culture, and the customer experiences. For the Accounting and Finance departments AP automation solutions are transforming how they do business.
How is Accounts Payable automation is changing, and is expected to continue to change in the future?
“It will be unrecognizable! Digital, data driven, and strategic. Stakeholders will unlock the value of AP automation and leverage it in more ways than ever. CFOs will believe that if they optimize the AP process, they can better manage cash, control spend, and mitigate risk. All helping drive larger corporate objectives.”
– Mark Brousseau, Institute of Finance Management (IOFM) Spokesperson, Consultant, and AP Automation Subject Matter Expert
You’ve surely heard about the sales funnel, but did you know that accounting is also funnel? Everyday dozens or hundreds of invoices and other documents arrive on paper, via email, or in electronic format and need to be captured before they can be processed, paid, and filed. However, that funnel can quickly become clogged if a company is still heavily dependent on paper invoices which in many cases require manual handling.
Modernizing the workflow and making it run smoothly with the help of digital transformation helps any company unlock a host of benefits. Fewer errors, fewer exceptions, shorter cycle times, and drastically reduced costs - not to mention improved customer service - are just a few of the advantages to be gained with a digital invoice process.
Try answering the following question: How much time do Accounts Payable (AP) staff typically spend on answering vendor inquiries related to invoices? The answer may be surprising to many. The fact is that AP staff spend almost a quarter of their time on inquiries. That's a significant amount of work spent answering phone calls and emails, hunting down papers, pulling folders, checking payment status, and other similar time-consuming tasks.
In terms of efficiency, this is not time well-spent. It’s also a costly distraction from the truly productive work needed to get invoices processed and paid on time. Embracing the digital transformation and incorporating intelligent automation in finance, however, is a solution to get rid of the delays and errors associated with handling paper and sticking to manual processes.
"Progress brought by digital technologies today is different from changes induced previously by mechanical and electrical revolutions. Digital technologies change the entire value chain for companies, as well as business models and even exchanges between players."
- François Lacas, deputy COO at Yooz in the article "The CFO's Crucial Role in Digital Transformation : François Lacas Interview"
Make no mistake even with the right mindset and buy-in from the entire organization digital transformation is still not an easy task. But that is why it’s so important to create a strategy in advance to transform the way your company does business.
Digital transformation is not just for R&D and strategic planners. It reaches in to every aspect of your business particularly the back office functions like Accounts Payable.
No matter what size a company is, AP transformation is possible, desirable and affordable.
Successful AP transformation can be broken down into nine main factors of the invoice and payment process that are improved by going digital:
Ultimately you should be asking yourself: "How can I use digital transformation to get the best possible ROI for our AP operations?"
It’s becoming clear that the business implications of the global pandemic will be felt for years. The good news? Crises also have a flipside. They serve as a shock to the system and force a reset, often triggering an increase in positive outcomes for the future. That’s certainly the case when it comes to finance departments and the financial services they rely on.
Enter digitalization in finance, finally in full swing as a viable strategy to improve performance.
Robots are everywhere but they don’t have to replace humans; they can actually create jobs by making business more efficient. Putting into place a digital transformation will supercharge financial services, whether it be in banking or the accounts payable department of a small business. Read more about how digital solutions for financial services will help speed up operations, create cost savings, drive profit, and make the work environment altogether more appealing.
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