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What Does It Mean to Have a Truly Automated AP Department?

What Does It Mean to Have a Truly Automated AP Department?

Automation, the organization’s secret to improved productivity, easier and more cost-effective payments, and smarter procurement processes. Important for all points within the organization, the idea of automation is even more important when it comes to the accounts payable department, who continually faces pressures to get the bills paid on time, capture discounts as often as possible, and ultimately drive value for treasury, finance, and more.

But what does it mean to find true peace in the AP department through automation? We look to share this and more below.

A recent Institute of Financial Operations report sponsored by Concur took another look at the Accounts Payable department of the future: an environment in which paper—invoices, checks, and more—are a thing of the past, the procure-to-pay process is streamlined, and the people aren’t wasting away on time-consuming checks-and-balances or exception management process.

In reality, this “future of the AP department” is the present or some, even if it appears unattainable for others. In a truly automated AP department, accounts payable professionals are able to capture immense amounts of data from their invoices, completely remove hiccups in the process, and become truly paperless—cutting out anywhere between $5 and $20 spent per check written.

The report, available for download, highlighted these Key Components of True AP Automation:

  • Electronic receipt of invoices, uploaded into the AP system
  • Visibility of invoices from receipt to payment
  • Invoices automatically matched to purchase orders
  • Non-purchase order invoices routed for invoice approval electronically
  • Electronic payments to vendors
  • Resources focused on value-added activities such as customer service, fraud protection, and timely payment

What stands between organizations and true automation? Paper. A recent Institute of Financial Operations (IFO) study revealed on average 50% of invoices are still received by paper, 37% by e-mail, and 5% by fax, resulting in 92% of invoices still requiring manual entry. Worse yet, respondents predicted that in two years’ time, 81% would still be receiving invoices requiring manual entry.

With manual, paper-based processes, these organizations face approval challenges, bottlenecks, workflow issues, errors, visibility concerns and higher risks. The truly automated AP department will not only reduce paper and manual tasks, but by capturing all of this data electronically they ultimately gain visibility into all company spend adding to the bottom line.

Next Steps: Automating AP for Working Capital Optimization

On November 9, 2016, Brittenford will be joined by experts from Concur, who will share the advantages of finding true invoice processing and accounts payable automation, and who will be joined by  Steve Meyerson, Accounts Payable Manager at Defy Media, who made the switch to Concur Invoice and overcame his organization’s accounts payable pain points.

It’s time your employees focus on what matters most! A live demo of Concur Invoice Management, a leading invoice automation software, will show how easy it is to start simplifying and improving your accounts payable processes.

Click here to Register for Using Technology and Automation to Improve Working Capital Optimization

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