3 answers to your accounts payable nightmares

  • 11 Dec 2017
  • AP Automation
3 answers to your accounts payable nightmares Image

A typical day for an Accounts Payable officer, see if this sounds familiar....  Invoices are rolling in by email, by post, even by fax. Then the guy from marketing drops by and dumps more paper on their desk. Some of the invoices are coded incorrectly, some of them have no VAT number, and some don’t even have a P.O. number - even though the ‘no PO, no pay’ mantra has been communicated internally time and time again. And then there’s the steady stream of Friday phone calls from suppliers chasing payment. Nightmare! The poor soul doesn’t even know where to start.

Is your Accounts Payable team working with one hand tied behind their back, spending much of their time processing supplier invoices and resolving invoice exceptions, when they could be doing something else? Ever wondered what that time adds up to?

If your team is chock-a-block with manual work, slavishly following admin-heavy processes, chances are they won’t be thinking strategically about cutting costs and improving cash flow. They’re forced to operate reactively.

According to our latest research, 82% of finance professionals said that poor invoice process management was impacting their team’s ability to perform effectively. So, what can we do to improve this situation?

The answer? Digitize your invoice management and payment processes with an AP automation platform. By taking all invoices electronically across your entire supply chain, you can free up your AP team from the wholly avoidable task of paper invoice processing and free up their time for value-added activities to power strategic spend control and supplier management initiatives.

So, how can you successfully do it?

Give your suppliers options

First things first, in order to process invoices electronically, you may want suppliers to send you invoices in your preferred digital format. Yet suppliers often don’t like change. So instead of trying to make them send you invoices the way you want, allow them to send you invoices the way that suits them best. eInvoicing software can process invoices from different channels, be it via direct integration between your finance system and your supplier’s billing system, email, or using a supplier portal, allowing suppliers of all sizes and capabilities to input their invoices easily, but still entering the details you need from them.

Routing and approval

Just receiving invoices electronically isn’t the whole story though, the next step is the routing and approval of these invoices. eInvoicing can automatically map, validate and convert them into your preferred format. The automatic validation functionality can help reduce the opportunity for error and invoice exception rates, which means one less thing to worry about for your AP team.

And if there is an exception, for example when a Purchase Order number is not available, the invoice will be routed to the right person for approval. It’s as simple as that.

Data capture

We all know how tedious, time-consuming and error-prone data entry is. So instead of keying in the invoice data, let your software capture the information, ensuring accuracy and consistency, and also saving you time. Faster processing ensures on-time payment, helping you to avoid late payment fees and giving your AP team much better control.

eInvoicing can help relieve the nightmare of manual invoice processing, transforming your finance and accounts payable operations, and leaving the team with more time to concentrate on the important tasks at hand. You can find out more in our Accounts Payable Automation product guide.

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