The proof is in the pudding!
Today’s post is not something that is going to be profound, but rather something that underscores what we’ve been saying all along. Essentially that Accounts Payable software, and especially AP automation software in the cloud, can take you from bad to rad...or something cool like that. Basically, you have a few approaches to solving the typically horizontal problems created by manual invoice processing.
Accounts Payable software helps you meet those challenges head on, but the real question is what type of software do you implement and how? Accounts payable software can mean multiple things. For some it’s simply having a module that allows them to book expenses as an extension of their accounting system. For others it’s having the ability to digitize their incoming invoices as an electronic record and have it connected to their accounting system. For others it’s having the ability to lift the data off these invoices via an advanced capture approach and use it to drive their internal processes forward, to include both electronic workflow and straight thru processing invoking various matching scenarios. Finally, for others accounts payable software means having something in place to execute payment across various payment modalities.
We are obviously biased in that we are a cloud-based provider of an end to end (invoice presentment through payment) AP automation solution. To make things more expeditious and impactful we’ve wrapped human processing around automated capture so that data quality is higher (essentially can’t get above 95% without human verification of OCR results), and basically offered this as a service such that someone who wants to streamline their process has the ability to deploy high-end technology with high-touch capability on an affordable basis and without needing hordes of technical support folk to maintain yet another system. That notwithstanding, there is significant evidence as presented in this infographic by Aberdeen Group from their study that cloud based Accounts Payable software attributes to faster invoice processing cycles, less cost to process an invoice, and more invoices paid on time.
Getting to great...
As you can see there are considerable advantages, based on the research conducted by Aberdeen Group. However, one area that we want to focus on in particular is the cost per invoice. While virtually every accounts payable software provider, whether cloud or install based, focus on is slashing the cost per invoice. This is certainly a noble effort since there is so much fat to be trimmed from the typical hellscape that a manual accounts payable process represents. However, we believe the most recent and impactful development in this area upstages traditional AP, which would be to integrate an ePayments strategy into the fold when designing your ultimate AP solution. Beyond the obvious reasons of wanting to have a full invoice cycle, (invoice document, approval audit trail or matching checks, and the payment information ie. check number, virtual card number, ACH confirmation etc) the monetization of the process can actually flip the cost per invoice to something like cash per invoice. We’ve seen organizations literally turn their AP department into a back office profit center, which totally shifts the paradigm of what’s possible and what’s optimal in terms of AP automation standards.
So, if any of these things are items that you’ve struggled with or desired to see brought to pass in your organization then we welcome you to check out this postto broaden your perspective on optimal invoice processing!