Understanding AP Automation

Understanding AP Automation

Many organizations are stuck spending too much time on data entry and not enough time on analysis and consideration of trends and patterns within their accounts payable processing. CFOs and treasury teams lack key visibility into the end-to-end process, from receiving to paying invoices. This lack of insight often leads to accruing late fees and missing out on early pay because they don’t process and/or approve their invoices fast enough. Ultimately, organizations find themselves operating with separate, unintegrated systems that are all trying to capture images of their invoices, which can lead to countless errors and time wasted.

Before discussing how to streamline AP processing through automation, it’s important to understand the basics and review what the AP process entails.

At a high level, the AP process begins with receiving invoices, which come as both scanned images and email copies. After receiving the invoice, the data is extracted (through the AP processing software), reviewed and validated by the accounts payable team. It is then manually integrated into their ERP/Core Financials by creating a voucher and attaching it to the invoice image. Finally, the invoice is then routed for approval within the ERP/Core Financials system. 

The scope of Accounts Payable (AP) processing is vast with many intricate and time-consuming tasks that, when completed manually, can lead to errors and time wasted. One of the most efficient ways to narrow this scope down is through automation, which can be accomplished by implementing a software that will take care of all the tedious tasks that require dedicated resources. It empowers organizations to define requirements for the end-to-end invoice management process, including invoice intake, coding, workflow approval, voucher creation, reporting and dashboards. By leveraging AP Automation software, companies are able to develop a standardized process across the organization, for exceptional efficiency gains, fast processing, and improved collaboration.

Automating AP Processing Can Help Organizations Achieve Significant Benefits

AP Automation software will grant organizations access to accurate and reliable information regarding the status of their invoices by using an end-to-end audit trail. It helps to enforce control policies and has built-in fraud detection capabilities from business rules and artificial intelligence. A key benefit of automation is the overall increase in control and transparency while reducing tedious manual tasks. It helps to improve invoice processing speed and accuracy, reduce errors, as well as any associated error costs from rectification. It is a solution for growth, eliminating the need for templates and allowing for customizable business processes and a flexible workflow.

Accounts Payable processing is intricate and complex, but by automating it through the best fit software, organizations can start to narrow this broad scope and take control.

There’s more to AP Automation than what we’ve been able to cover here. Register for the upcoming Elire Learning Lab webinar “Building an Intelligent Accounts Payable Function for PeopleSoft Users” set for September 15th, 2020 at 2:00 PM CST. In this session, learn how to improve staff productivity by using data capture while also reducing errors through leveraging validated PeopleSoft data to gain the agility your organization needs to navigate uncertain times.