Mitigate risk, increase efficiency and expand business insight by automating AP invoice processing
AP Managers and Controllers are never at a loss for things to do. Managing the complex workflow of document management in accounts payable – invoice processing, purchasing, approvals and financial oversight – leaves little room for anything else.
Why aren’t more AP Managers taking advantage of AP Automation to help streamline the entire procure to pay process?
Many times, the prospect of initiating and implementing such an operational and procedural change is daunting – identifying, researching, vetting and finalizing recommendations for operational innovation and improvement can seem like an impossible task when daily business tasks are overwhelming enough.
But taking the time to automate your AP process can not only answer the need for a powerful, cost-effective solution to several business accounting challenges, you can also increase speed and accuracy, reduce error, and expedite problem-solving for your specific invoice management process.
Taking the time to implement a new way of managing complex tasks allows you to reduce pain points for your staff while creating opportunities for improved financial performance, oversight and team communication.
The challenges are real – work volume has staff regularly overwhelmed.
But AP Automation, when implemented methodically, can reduce your workload and make problem solving easy, driving innovation and cost savings to your business operations.
Take PVC Industries for example – a manufacturing company in New York State. In a typical week, PVC Industries logs over 250 orders, generating more than 13,000 orders each year – costing more than $15,000 a year – on paper.
Working with PVC Industries’ IT department, DocStar created an automated AP platform, making it quick and easy to scan, store and retrieve documents for each individual order, as well as the ability to add any notation at any time during the overall process.
Each digital file now has all of the necessary documentation for that particular order – streamlining communication, improving customer service, mitigating human errors, and reducing processing times – saving the company more than $23,000 a year in labor costs alone.
“Working with DocStar to integrate their document management software into our existing system has created a dramatic improvement to our AP workflow. We often need to review orders and now we can even find orders placed over the phone. These improved efficiencies help us to deliver a superior level of service. Our customers have never been more satisfied.”
~Kathy Rice, IT Manager, PVC Solutions
With the new software in place, accounts payable processes have been streamlined and simplified.
A processor can create a document package that includes an invoice and supporting documents such as monthly utilities, miscellaneous expenditures, and more. This package is electronically routed to the AP department and then to the general manager for approval. The GM receives an alert, reviews the documents, makes any notes and approves the invoice. The approved invoice is automatically routed back to accounts payable for payment.
Because DocStar can be accessed from any location, and on any device, an invoice can be processed in as little as 4 minutes and can be reviewed and approved, – or declined, from anywhere in the world.
“We’re even gaining labor efficiencies after the order is processed,” Kathy said. “Finding a paper document took considerable time. The average labor savings is at least $2,160 annually in our customer service area. What had previously been a very labor-intensive process, and prone to human error, has been streamlined into an easy-to-use format. And, we’re avoiding late payment penalties.”
Improving operational efficiency, vendor relations and customer service should be the top priorities of AP Managers. Getting there doesn’t have to be painful.
With a number of cloud and in-house business process automation and document management products on the market, it is important to find a partner who can help you to maximize your investment.
Identifying the right AP Automation vendor and solutions will give you you the benefit of their experience and expertise in setting up workflows and product configurations that meet your specific needs.
Talk to others in your industry about what has worked best for them. Having a partner who can help establish best practices before implementing a new system can ensure you reap the rewards of new technology – without reinventing the wheel.
From start to finish, this type of project can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. But with the proper management and reporting, your implementation can run more smoothly while your team learns a new way of working.
Give your team time to implement each phase fully in order to protect your valuable data, test methods and properly set up for the best possible outcomes. It is important to understand that this type of culture change takes time and full commitment.
But the payoff can be significant – AP automation projects can help smaller to medium sized business take advantage of technologies that Fortune 500 companies have benefited from for years.
When done correctly, higher efficiency in your AP processes means reduced costs throughout your business. By treating AP automation as a necessity, your organization can unlock new ways to reduce costs, operate efficiently and stay ahead of the curve. There is no better time to start than now.
Want to learn more about automated AP solutions? Visit the DocStar ECM AP Automation page!