Accounts Payable Automation, why?

Accounts Payable automation, AP automation, automated invoice management, electronic invoice process, invoice automation, automated invoice flow, automated Accounts Payable, digitalised invoice flow, etc. … many names, same thing!

So, what about all of these “a”, “d” and “e”- words, what do they actually mean… and should they concern you?

Of course, that is entirely up to you, but if your ambition is to increase efficiency, control and profitability both in the Finance Department and in the company as a whole, you have plenty to gain by keep on reading. Because there are few things as simple and profitable as abandoning handling paper when it comes to supplier invoices.

Imagine this to be your everyday routine.

  • Approval at the press of a button
  • Full control over all invoices, wherever they are in the approval flow
  • Purchase orders automatically matched with supplier invoices
  • Full control over all costs from arrival date
  • Automatic coding of regular invoices
  • Access to invoices from all parts of the business system

How it works – in 5 steps!

  1. All paper invoices are scanned and imported into an electronic workflow. If you’re currently also receiving electronic invoices from certain suppliers, the files are imported directly into the system.
  2. An approval flow is suggested on the basis of predefined approval rules, depending on supplier, accounts, dimensions, amount limits, etc., and an email is sent to the first approver in the flow.
  3. Accounts Payable can obtain an overview at any time (from the business system) of all invoices awaiting approval, as well as viewing the history of every single invoice.
  4. Emails are sent automatically to inform approvers about invoices to be approved, and the administrator can at any time recall cases or manually adjust the approval path.
  5. The approval history enables the approver to see quickly how earlier invoices were coded, and also to call up old invoices without needing to contact Finance staff.

AP Automation – for profitable businesses

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The fundamental benefits of processing your supplier invoices electronically are Time- & Cost Savings, Enhanced Control and of course The Environmental Aspect. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits below.

Time & Cost Saving

If we start with the very obvious costs such as paper purchases and servicing photocopiers… how many copies are made of each invoice? Multiply that by the number of invoices received. Then add the hourly cost of your staff who spend their working days hunting invoices all over the office.

It is generally estimated that the cost of manually processing a supplier invoice is EUR 15-50, depending on the type of business. Introducing AP automation cuts the administrative cost by 25-50% per invoice every year. Manual administration of approval is a task that is both time-consuming and expensive.

Full Control in Real Time

Control is one of the most important tools of all for all finance departments. When it comes to invoices, this primarily involves approval routines, amount limits and internal rules. With AP automation, everything is pre-programmed in the system. Including complete cost control from the arrival date! With the invoice being registered upon arrival and administered electronically, you have full control over costs and coding status in real time throughout the whole workflow. This invoice status can of course be accessed from all parts of the business system. Forget organisers, rubber finger tips, files and mountains of paper, everything is only a click away.

Eco = Profitability

Environmental work is now an integral part of most businesses. Primarily for ethical reasons, but also surprisingly often for purely practical and commercial reasons. Reduced paper processing is naturally high on the to-do list. One department where mountains of paper are often highest is Accounts Payable. The interesting point is that it is precisely those departments that have most to gain in purely commercial terms from reduced paper processing. By scanning their supplier invoices and managing the approval flow, coding and document storage electronically, they achieve not only clear environmental benefits, but also a more efficient workflow.

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