Have you asked the people in your accounting department what their top challenges are? Well, Ardent Partners did in a recent survey of 200 accounts payable and finance executives and found that 41% of their survey participants responded that the high percentage of exceptions was a top concern.
If you are still using a manual accounts payable system, your staff is spending (actually wasting) hours trying to resolve invoice discrepancies. This often involves having to track down the proper person to try to gather additional information.
In its report The State of ePayables 2018: The Future of AP is Now, Ardent Partners noted, “The lost time across the volume of invoices processed on a monthly basis adds up quickly.”
The goal of every AP department is to process invoices easily or in a straight-through manner. This means the invoice is processed without a lot of additional involvement from department personnel.
Another challenge AP professionals mentioned in the survey was there was too much paper involved in the process. The Ardent report states, “…ePayable solutions that attack the paper problem have been commercially available for almost 20 years. Paper-based invoices are the bane of AP’s very existence: paper invoices beget manual processing, and manual processing erodes the value of AP via inconsistent processing time and higher overall cost to process, and most importantly, a lack of deep intelligence and visibility into corporate spending and vendor payment patterns.” (I’ll talk more about this in a subsequent blog post.)
So what’s the answer to eliminating exceptions? As with many other areas of your business, automation can bring great efficiencies to your AP department.
Automation allows purchase orders and invoices to be matched before invoices are sent out. This should eliminate or, at the very least, cut down on exceptions once invoices are sent.
Automation not only reduces invoice processing time by up to 80% but it frees up your AP staff to focus on becoming a more strategic part of your operation.