Growth is good news for most companies. It is both the goal and the reward for effort accomplished by their teams. But can be a downside for accounting departments: the greater the business activity, the more invoices there are to be processed, running the risk of quickly reaching the organizations limits in terms of capacity.
Of course, you can always hire additional staff to absorb the extra work, but companies do not always want to take that route, as it can be costly and merely a short-term solution. With growing business, it is not a question of having enough people, but rather one of being efficient enough.
The accounting department up against the wall of growth
Most companies handle their accounting internally on a small scale until they run up against the wall created by growth. People enter invoices one at a time, validate them, approve payment, classify them... It can take 3 to 5 weeks to process an invoice with this process.
The more invoices there are, the longer it takes. Late payments accumulate and penalties build up, not to mention duplicates, disputes, and excess paperwork. The result is that accountants spend nearly one third of their time handling late payments. This activity is neither interesting for them nor productive for the company. Quite the contrary.
AP Automation offers the benefit of positive impact across the entire invoice processing cycle
To keep the benefits of growth from becoming lost in the meandering inefficiency of administrative tasks, the solution is to industrialise accounting processes using ap automation. The term automation does not mean just scanning documents.
That would merely replace the complexity of paper with the complexity of a digital approach and only produce marginal benefits. In reality, AP automation enables you to automate successive processing steps and link them together: from managing procurement to processing invoices, leveraging scanning, automatic recognition, posting and allocation, electronic validation circuits, and exporting data to ERP systems and accounting packages.
The people involved are informed about process progression and have the opportunity to validate key steps based on predefined rules, such as invoice type, client or amount.
Based on artificial intelligence, today’s ap automation solutions can process all documents without any prior sorting, regardless of their format, media or delivery, including mail, PDF, EDI, and more. Search engines enable users to find and look up documents easily.
Impressive productivity improvements
By leveraging smart automation techniques, ap automation saves a significant amount of time. Studies show that companies can make their overall processing cycle time 2 to 5 times faster.
Not only that, but faster and more efficient invoice processing helps limit lateness, disputes and time spent answering supplier questions. This leads to even further productivity gains. With the right tools, finance departments can improve their efficiency considerably and take on increased business activity over the long run without having to resort to staff increases.