The accounts payable e-guide, vol. 1 – no pain, no gain?
When invoices arrive, the mail carrier isn’t likely greeted with applause. Yet, businesses have to spend money to make money, as the saying goes.
They need to keep the cash flow moving to buy components or raw materials for manufacturing, pay contractors and consultants, remit local utilities, pay taxes, and more. There are countless reasons for receiving physical and electronic invoices. However, many invoices are not processed efficiently. There are a lot of manual steps that go between receipt and payment.
Did you know that 57% of organisations still enter all invoice data manually? Existing accounts payable practices are time-consuming too. This comes with an opportunity cost. That means time, resources, and personnel expenses are quickly spiraling out of control. There is a better way.
In Accusoft’s eGuide, we address ways to streamline this process with digital integrations.
The divide between documents and deliverables
Documents form the foundation of accounts payable processes. From initial invoices to approval forms, requests for changes or clarification, payment notices, and check tracking, every step of the AP process includes at least one document. The speed of document creation is also increasing as web and cloud-based forms begin to close the gap with paper-based processes. This means document management often creates a divide between great AP intentions and AP outcomes.
Key pain points plaguing processors
Despite the increasing availability of digital solutions, many organisations still rely on manual data entry and analysis. The problem? While the right technology combined with substantive C-Suite support can help overcome digital adoption challenges, manual data entry for AP processes comes with a fundamental flaw. Basic error rate for human data entry hovers just above one percent. That may not sound like much, but when companies are dealing with thousands of documents that are often disseminated and duplicated across multiple staff members, that “little” one percent becomes a big problem.
Invoice processing pain points
Consider a typical document with 100 data fields to complete. In this scenario, humans generally make one data entry error per AP form. Multiply this out across hundreds or thousands of documents, however, and companies must spend substantial time and effort double-checking documents, tracking down errors, and making necessary corrections.
- Routing errors – Each routing step introduces the potential for error if documents are sent to the wrong person, forms are missing key data fields, or simply aren’t sent at all.
- Lost or missing invoices – Without effective, end-to-end tracking, physical invoices can easily be misplaced and digital documents incorrectly versioned, increasing the risk of inaccurate, delayed, or duplicated payments.
- Paper preferences – Despite the increasing prevalence of digital documents, paper processing remains popular. But the reliance on paper forms, checks, and invoices significantly raises security risk.
- Lack of visibility – Manual data entry complicates visibility by creating physical stores of data that are difficult to access, frustrating to file, and almost impossible to analyse at scale.
- Dropped discounts – Some vendors offer early payment discounts that could be overlooked, and while many companies decide to pay late, there could be a late payment fee that could cost the company in penalties.
- Compliance concerns – Upon the request of regulatory agencies, companies must be able to provide complete histories of payment processing activities along with invoice tracking and change management reports.
Learn more about invoice processing challenges and how to solve them with automation in the Accusoft eGuide. Click here to read the full report.