In the world of Accounts Payable process automation, there are many reasons to get excited for the gains from a successful improvement iniative.
Here’s our short list
- Time savings – Apart from AP automation, Accounts Payable departments aren’t exactly known for their cat-like speed and reflexes. However, this truism turns on its head once you get down the yellow brick AP automation road. Why is that? Simple, by eliminating paper and physical process (think paper shuffling workflow for invoice approvals here), you cut excess time and redundancy out of the equation. What you’re left with after a successful initiative is nothing short of a lean, ripped P90X process, capable of shredding invoices quickly and with ease!
- Profit generation – No, not for your AP automation vendors. While, I know first hand they appreciate the business, the focus is on YOU here. By eliminating wasted process as mentioned above and recouping lost time, you’re freeing up your staff to focus on the things they are paid and qualified to do. It’s literally an investment that pays for itself, but moreover, by pushing an Accounts Payable process improvement initiative along, you can oftentimes pick up many significant discounts from vendors that you might’ve been missing opportunities with left to your old process devices. This is no trivial matter either, as many vendors will commonly discount an invoice by 2% if you can turn their invoices around within 10 days. Imagine if you could get 20% of your monthly spend to have a 2% discount affixed to it. If you are paying out $10 MM a month, that would be a 2% pick up on $2MM, giving you an extra $40K in profit. If you’re not stoked about that go talk to your CFO, I’m sure they’d get happy over that fairly quickly…
- Headache reducing – Beyond the time savings and profit generation aspect, there exists the upside of actually being able to find and track documents. This may come as a revelation, but in a manual, paper-based environment, stuff gets lost! Once Accounts Payable automation is in place though, as long as it’s built with a solid document management infrastructure, you have the benefit of being able to keep tabs on your invoices, where they’re at in process, and who has them (or is supposed to be handling them). Which leads to our next point…
- Insight creation – By keeping tabs on your process, it can make you uber smart…like literally on a near genius level (as certified by The Institute of Madeup Studies & The School of Hard Knocks). Seriously though, when you digitize the data off of invoices from the process get-go, and pop that into a database structure that most AP automation platforms have, you can then mine that data to create insight to your process. Want to know what your spend is so far this month…bam, no prob! What’s it going to be based on A/P Aging…piece of cake! Average invoice size per vendor…done. Who are your approver bottlenecks….’nuf said!
- Enables participation – Yes, it’s a given that a successful AP automation initiative will enable participation across your organization, predominantly from approvers iand other search users who want insight to the system, but more importantly you can create participation in your vendor community which will make them really, really happy. Why? Because with tools like vendor portals you can speed their supply of invoices to your lean and mean AP machine and get them paid quicker. By including them in the process, and giving them access to their invoices you create goodwill on their behalf for making it an inclusive experience, and you’ll also save them money and time on postage and invoice submission. In the words of Champ Kind, ‘WHAMMY!’.
Our hope for you is that you love AP automation for the same reasons we do, and whatever it is that gets it done for you!