Finance Departments must deal with an ever-greater volume of purchase orders, invoices, and payments. Accounts payable professionals are increasingly being tapped for strategic work to better manage the enterprise’s overhead.
Long story short, the time-consuming and tedious steps associated with invoice processing is no longer a core function of a modern AP team. It’s not scalable to process invoices in house and diverts AP’s attention away from more impactful knowledge work.
The solution is to invest in AP automation and invoice processing partner like DTI. By leveraging technologies like AI and machine learning, RPA and OCR (optical character reading), tasks can be automated, done faster and with fewer errors. Accounts payable can be transformed from an overworked, underappreciated and error-prone function to a profit center.
Here are some ways that AP automation optimized your business processes.
1: Invoice Collection
Efficient AP automation requires a system for extracting the relevant information from invoices and matching them to purchase orders where appropriate. Using OCR and machine learning, AP automation systems can eradicate transcription errors and massively reduce the time taken to accurately read invoices.
2: Processing Pipeline
Repetitive processes are no sweat for computers and robots. Instead of using your in-house team for these processes, allocate people for auditing and oversight and deploy a digital workforce for repetitive tasks to deliver greater value to your organization.It's not surprising then that 66% of business leaders are piloting systems for business process automation, up from 57% in 2018 according to a global McKinsey survey undertaken in 2020.
3: Exceptions Processing
AP automation can identify exceptions and route them with greater accuracy than a human agent ever could. Whether it is invoices requiring goods receipts, unusually large orders or suspicious invoices, these outliers can be identified and fed into the requisite part of the ERP system.
Invoice transactions are automatically fed into your ERP software for further data analysis and reporting as well as sending automated communications to suppliers, warehouses, and other stakeholders.
The benefit of this approach is obvious – companies who communicate clearly and frequently, and who process invoices promptly and pay accurately and on time, are preferred and trusted.
5: Improved Transparency
With real-time dashboards, other enhanced reporting capabilities and timestamps along the way, AP automation shines a bright light on your business processes. Going through the AP automation process and armed with these insights, you’ll streamline your payments to vendors and suppliers. You will also benefit from a better understanding of cash flow in and out of your organization.
6: Automated Tracking
Tracking purchase orders, invoices and payments is vital to any growing enterprise. When you have an easy to read and accurate audit trail, it’s much easier to understand how well the business is performing. If fraud is detected, then it can be investigated relatively easily since everything is user ID-marked and timestamped.
AP automation optimizes your business processes and creates other efficiencies as well from fraud mitigation to better vendor relationships. Invoice processing automation is a foundational step to digital transformation. When you get rid of manual processes, standardize your processes and implement best practices, AP automation starts you down the road to digital transformation: improved operations and delivering greater value.