ABC's of Automated Invoice Processing and Cloud Computing
- 23 Nov 2020
- AP Automation
Automated invoice processing handles routine tasks once performed manually by the AP team. The hands-free accounts payable processes save time, ensure accuracy, help improve revenues, and make it easier to work remotely. A cloud service is crucial to have in-place for unexpected interruptions and global situations, such as the current pandemic.
Businesses need automation now and in the future to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for the changing ways the world will work after a quarantine. Learning the basics is the first step to adopting accounts payable automation that works for the company and keeps the financial team working from any location.
Accounts Payable Automation
Accounts payable software is the system used for accounting and financial processes. Companies adopt this technology to eliminate tedious routine invoicing-related tasks, streamline operations, and gain greater control of financial and accounts payable processes. Notifications are sent to avoid penalties and other potential losses associated with late payments or noncompliance with applicable regulations, as well as to maintain positive supplier relationships. Cloud services put these essential numbers at the fingers of the AP team and the C-suite, even when they are working from home during a pandemic. All updates are made in real time for a seamless experience.
Strategic initiatives are supported by cloud AP automation, such as establishing and maintaining money-saving discounts by paying vendors early. As a result, AP professionals have become an integral part of helping to boost the bottom line. As companies scramble for supplies during a worldwide crisis, business with automation can stay on top of production with key updates in real time. Companies maintain constant control over the numbers, regardless of the changes happening around them. Easy audits are an added advantage of adopting AP automation, a formerly monumental process that once took long hours and hard work.
Balancing the Books
Access to financial data in real time benefits the C-suite and the entire team. This is particularly important during a crisis, with employees on all levels working remotely. When AP tasks were performed manually, it could take days or weeks to get an invoice approved and paid. Balancing the books is faster and simpler when tasks such as invoice processing and approvals can be completed remotely in just minutes.
Ongoing updates also help the C-suite to stay on top of the changing number during situations such as natural disasters and the current pandemic. With interruptions of some businesses and the need to expand the services of others, once predictable figures require daily analysis. Cloud AP automation is helping companies change quantities, update orders and invoicing, and reduce processing costs throughout the most challenging crises.
Cloud Solutions for the 21st Century
First on the scene nearly twenty years ago, cloud computing has taken over in the modern business world. Remote working is growing from not only need, but also from preference to support all the unexpected circumstances in the world and employees’ personal lives. Balance and continuity are easier to achieve at work and home with the convenience of cloud services. Work can be performed from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, even when a key employee is in transit or quarantined. No local computer storage is necessary to stay connected.
Uninterrupted communication is imperative in light of a global disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies following social distancing requirements due to the outbreak are taking advantage of the cloud to remain productive from remote locations. Necessity has driven the C-suite and workers to implement innovative technologies and processes that will realize an ROI for years to come.
Do It Now or Be Left Behind
Despite the fact that cloud computing has been around for about two decades, many businesses have still not harnessed the service's full potential. As companies discover the benefits of cloud software, automation is inevitable. Reducing or eliminating the need for local computer storage and office space can save businesses money for years to come. AP automation offers low barrier to entry but is quick to yield high-value results, making it a viable investment for businesses of all sizes.
Companies that already adopted AP automation prior to the pandemic were ready for the AP department to work at home. Forward-thinking businesses looking to attract millennial talent were often the first to switch to automated accounts payable processes. Millennial workers appreciate the value and potential of the latest technologies as well as the flexibility of working remotely. Organizations without cloud computing are struggling to keep up during a world crisis when many places are shut down and social distancing is the new norm. Companies that fail to automate now could face significant losses and be left behind in the future.
Everyone is Adopting Automation
As AP automation becomes the global standard, companies of all sizes are finding solutions to fit their requirements and budgets. Companies that fail to use cloud services will stand out from others as resistant to modernization, which can be damaging to a business’ reputation in a competitive international marketplace.
Furthermore, the C-suite and financial team are realizing the measurable benefits of implementing cloud AP automation. These include early payment savings, automated invoice processing, improved vendor relations, and increased profits over time. The return on investment is clear at a time when offices are closing their doors around the world and continuing operations remotely.
Finding an AP Automation Solution
An AP automation solution should seamlessly integrate into the current financial system and provide workflow customization. A robust solution is flexible to scale as a company grows and leverages other advanced technologies. The most efficient AP solutions offer detailed reporting and analytics to provide visibility into the company’s financial history.
To find a viable accounts payable automation provider, keep the following guidelines in mind during your research and discussions:
- Define the scope of the project
- Map the current AP process to determine exact needs
- Identify system dependencies
- Capture IT requirements
- Research, audit and compare solutions and services
- Build a business case to ensure everyone agrees to its adoption and understands the relevance and potential of AP automation and what it offers
Innovative organizations recognize the need for automated invoice processing and cloud services, especially since the pandemic, and to face the inevitable world changes ahead.