Automated invoice processing is the modern, scalable solution for invoice management. Automation solutions are becoming a core component for accounts payable (AP) departments when processing invoices at scale.
Today, leading organisations across all sectors are discovering the benefits of invoicing automation. This is resulting in significant operational improvements and cost savings.
From receiving invoices to issuing payment to the vendor, manual invoice processing can take up to 45 days per document. These time-consuming manual processes are inefficient and, when you consider additional risk factors such as human error and burnout, the total business cost becomes even higher. Thankfully, these issues are solvable through automation.
By implementing accounts payable automation, AP teams can all but eliminate processes such as manually entering data into company accounting systems.
Keeping up with these digital innovation trends, experienced individuals and teams are able to eliminate the vast majority of manual work. This enables them to establish a competitive edge within their respective industries by focusing on strategic, growth-driving initiatives.
Automated invoice processing is the use of digital software to improve all elements of AP operations. For the average department, these are:
The goals of automation are to reduce operational costs and hours spent on manual processes, as well as improve data accuracy. Solutions can be cloud-based or on-site, depending on organisational requirements.
There are, however, numerous other benefits to invoice automation, including improved business relationships and fraud prevention. The latter can save companies millions of dollars per year. A prime example of this is a 2019 accounts payable scam which cost Facebook and Google over $100 million.
There are a number of ways to automate your AP process. In order to choose the solution which best suits your needs, you will need to consider a variety of factors. These will include the size of your team, your current digital software, and average volume of documents processed per month/year.
A quality invoice automation solutions provider will offer two primary options for you to consider:
In addition, most vendors will enable integration with existing ERP and accounting systems, as well as RPA platforms such as UiPath, Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism. This enables complex workflow automation, from automated extraction of invoices from emails through to approval processes.
With today’s natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning technology, automated invoice processing solutions are capable of deciphering even the most complex document layouts. This means that all invoice data can be processed quickly and accurately, including:
According to the Institute of Finance Management (IOFM), manual processing costs can vary from $1 to $21 per invoice (including paper invoices), depending on various elements such as invoice volume, complexity and inhouse resources.
Through automation, these costs can be reduced by 75% or more. In addition, the long-term savings and improvements delivered through automation will continue to pay dividends in terms of spend management and overall business performance.
If you’d like to learn more about what’s possible with automated invoice processing solutions, book a demo and test your own documents with a member of our team.