Avoiding data bottlenecks in source-to-pay and B2B payments
- 12 Jul 2021
- Spend Management
Invoice matching, fraud detection, slow processing, and matching errors are typical bottlenecks in source-to-pay and B2B payments during COVID-19 and post-pandemic. These bottlenecks were always problematic for the AP team and became more significant challenges for companies scrambling to support remote workers.
Organizations with cloud AP automation seamlessly made the transition to remote work. However, companies still using manual AP processes or partial automation faced costly challenges that compromised productivity and production. Discover how complete AP automation streamlines operations to reduce or eliminate bottlenecks.
Safeguards and Bottlenecks
During the pandemic, creating safeguards from fraud became a top priority. Remote workers on different devices in various locations meant finding a way to collaborate safely without compromising privacy. Verifying and authorizing payments and finding tax information are essential internal controls that can cause bottlenecks.
Addressing common bottlenecks after the pandemic supports inevitable growth as people return to business as usual - or in the new normal. AP automation is used to transform typical bottlenecks into opportunities to save time and money, helping the AP team and C-suite catch up post-pandemic. Also, by eliminating bottlenecks, the organization is more scalable and reputable as competition increases.
Invoice Entry Delays
Common delays associated with invoice entry include unreadable file formats and mixing tax information and issues with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for payees in foreign countries. All of these issues require time and attention to resolve, creating bottlenecks in the AP process.
Seamless operations in AP depend on establishing a fast and efficient invoice entry process that ensures timely payments - all the time. With that in mind, AP automation captures invoices in a range of file formats to reduce or eliminate manual transfers of information, eliminating the possibility of inevitable human error. Plus, automation verifies critical tax information to eliminate time--consuming and tedious manual processes in accounts payable.
Overview of delays associated with invoice entry, such as missing tax info or unreadable file formats, as well as issues with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for payees in foreign countries. These issues require time to resolve, causing bottlenecks in the AP process. Establishing an efficient and fast invoice entry process is crucial for seamless operations and timely payments. AP automation captures paperless invoices in various file formats to reduce or eliminate manual transfers of information. Automation also verifies tax information, eliminating that tedious, time-consuming manual process in AP.
Manual processes in AP meant undefined delays associated with invoice routing and approvals. For example, paper invoices required the presence of the approver. Often paper invoices were lost, misplaced, or sat on a desk for days awaiting approval. In addition, during the pandemic, quarantining meant AP had no access to physical files - requiring a collaborative cloud solution for remote workers to perform their jobs from home securely.
Invoices are approved from any location and devices in a secure and collaborative online environment. With cloud AP automation solutions, invoice approval in real-time eliminates the paper chases and delays associated with manual processing. Plus, automation creates a digital trail to ensure timely invoice routing and approval to eliminate late payments - and create money-saving opportunities to make early payments for discounts.
Invoice Matching and Verification
Another pain point in the AP department is invoice matching and verification. Manual processes are based on the three-way match rule to reconcile and receive the report and vendor invoice to verify the invoice is valid. Performing these tasks is crucial to reduce potential fraud and errors but time-consuming when done manually.
Another benefit of cloud AP automation extending beyond the pandemic is its ability to automatically capture and validate information on supporting documents. As a result, automation eliminates the time-consuming manual three-way matching process and helps reduce costly incidents of fraud - adding up to a significant ROI over time.
Advantages of AP Automation
Considering the ROI and convincing the C-suite of the importance of cloud A automation, its essential advantages came to the forefront during the quarantine. Investing in automation means eliminating repetitive and costly manual tasks subject to human error. Plus, creating vendor portals means instant quotes and payments to accelerate production.
With security being more important than ever, other advantages of AP automation include eliminating fraud and maintaining compliance with current regulations. Audit trails enable quick detection of inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Plus, automatic reconciliations and automates source-to-pay and B2B payments help build strong relationships built on trust and reliability.
AP automation helps companies avoid data bottlenecks in source-to-pay and B2B payments by enabling cloud collaboration and eliminating costly manual processes. As companies return to work, automation is scalable to support the inevitable business growth post-pandemic. Investing in AP automation today supports the cloud collaboration and remote work of today - and tomorrow.