Document automation is nothing new; many important business functions have been automated with document management tools. Claims processing, loan origination, and Human Resources onboarding are just a few important activities that are often automated in order to streamline the process, save money, and ensure higher efficiency and accuracy.
One key function that is often overlooked, however, is the Accounts Payable process. Despite the increasing digitization of business today, the truth is that AP in most organizations continues to be mired in stacks of paper and manual workflow. As a result, the time spent shuffling paperwork, making copies, and manually comparing data and figures costs organizations in wasted time, effort and supplier goodwill.
How can your Finance department begin to benefit from better A/P automation? One place to start is with AP invoice approval. Manual paper processing requires a lot of data entry, handling and routing, and searching for lost documents. Indeed, according to a Prism International study, nearly 10% of documents are misfiled, resulting in handling costs of $120 per document.
And according to a recent study from AIIM, businesses lose about 3% of their invoiced income due to short-payments, late-payments and missed early-pay discounts. Advanced data capture and workflow automation technology can make AP invoice approval significantly quicker, easier, and more cost-effective. Business gain by reducing administration, speeding the pace of the process and capturing previously lost revenue.
Still working with paper? Things like making photocopies, finding lost and misfiled documentation, and manually processing paper all take a toll on the process. According to Business Finance magazine, the average cost of manually processing an invoice is around $20 versus $4 for automated processing. The opportunity for savings and improvement is even greater for small and mid-sized organizations that until now needed an enterprise-sized budget and specialized technical support to make AP automation a reality.
Besides saving money, transforming your AP department from a manual, paper-based invoice process to an automated workflow has a number of additional benefits. Here are just a few to consider:
There are many important benefits to be found by automating AP invoice approval. Automation removes the need for hard copies, allows AP staff to more quickly identify which invoices are waiting for approval, and reduces the number of missing and misfiled invoices. You increase the opportunity to capture early-pay discounts while enabling your staff to concentrate on more high-value activities.
Ready to move forward? Look for solutions and partners that provide the right mix of experience, vision, and advanced capabilities that will allow you to generate faster AP invoice approval and improve the AP process overall.