Article

Are manual processes holding your finance team back?

Are you leveraging your finance resources in the most effective way possible?

If your organisation requires human intervention or manual handling of documents throughout the Accounts Payable (AP) process on a daily basis, chances are there is room for improvement.

Automating the AP function has proven tangible benefits, yet many still rely on manual processes to take care of this critical business function and continue to operate without a single source of financial truth.

According to McKinsey & Company’s Finance 2030 report, organisations that have digitally transformed their accounts payable function  have seen efficiency gains of up to 39 per cent.

In order to liberate your finance team and enable them to focus on value creation activities, consider whether the following are occurring in your organisation.

Your reliance on paper-based processes is causing visibility issues

The role of AP processes are transforming as CFOs are under more pressure than ever to reduce costs and drive efficiency. A reliance on paper-intensive processes has meant many CFOs and finance teams lack the visibility that enables strategic-decision making.

Whether it’s printing out invoices, or ensuring documents are handled and stored consistently, the risk of mismanagement of physical documents can be severe. Loss, damage to documents and security breaches are significantly higher when managing physical documents.

With an automated AP solution, your organisation is able to eliminate paper-processes and generate reporting across your future commitments, spending and cash flows, resulting in greater visibility.

Manual data entry is resulting in inaccuracies

From extracting invoice information, to incorrect data entry and lengthy cross-departmental approvals, manual processes can cause significant delays in your AP process. This can result in incorrect payments to suppliers, overdue fees for your company when deadlines are missed and a costly $53.50 to rectify each paper invoice error.

On average, finance teams spend up to 20 hours per week managing AP processes which could be automated — from receiving an invoice electronically, through to payment and reconciliation.

With an automated AP solution, you can transform repetitive and time-consuming tasks to ensure prompt and accurate payment of invoices. You can establish controls to capture, extract and validate invoice data automatically and flag any inaccuracies with team members to notify them that human intervention is required.

You have limited ability to track approvals and enforce company policies

How can we see what was approved and by whom? Who signs off on supplier payments over a certain amount? How can we ensure that our processes are not breaching our internal policies?

If these are frequent questions your organisation has, it’s likely your current AP solution lacks the appropriate approval workflows to ensure compliance with your company policies.

A solution which integrates with your existing ERP will allow you to achieve true end-to-end invoice automation by enforcing approval limits and hierarchies. That way, when you conduct an internal audit, your embedded workflows will allow you to have a full audit trail at each step of the process.

Publish date

18 May 2021

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