Month-end close is critical to an organization’s financial health and performance. The ability to know your financial status accurately and consistently – including expected purchase costs, cash flow, and outstanding liabilities – will determine your profit/loss and inform key business decisions. Accounts Payable (AP) plays an integral role in the process.
Root causes of inefficient manual paper-based month-end processing.
Lack of Visibility.
Tracking current progress into financial close and accounts payable processes is essential for every organization. Without real-time updates, finance and accounting leaders may find it difficult to navigate the status of essential close tasks and AP transactions.
The more manual your tasks are, the more susceptible those tasks are to errors. Relying on human intervention for tasks that can be easily automated not only burdens accountants to repetitively track transactions and reconcile them, but it also increases the potential for violating compliance regulations.
Financial data affects the entire organization. Accounts payable teams must manually upload invoices and transactional updates into ERP systems, while accounting teams are dependent on the general ledger information when performing reconciliations to ensure their internal controls are being met. Without a standardized and automated process in place, F&A teams may find difficulty in achieving comprehensive compliance.
How AP Automation helps.
Closes are faster.
An automated AP system enables invoices to flow into the organization quickly and automatically, so all transactions are accounted for, even up to the last minute, without requiring AP to manually key anything in. This enables Accounting to know what is really going on at any point in time, and it can use that real-time info to close faster.
Visibility across all invoices enables the AP and Accounting departments to see which invoices have been received, which need to be approved and where they are in the process. Outstanding liabilities are no longer a guessing game, but rather are accurately captured by the system. A centralized invoice receiving process and automated routing capabilities mitigate the problem of lost invoices and, more importantly, the need to hunt for them before routing them to approvers.
Better fraud prevention.
The ability to detect anomalies, which is enhanced by AI capabilities, machine learning, data validation and enforcement of business rules, helps to prevent fraud.
Manual data entry inevitably results in human error. With electronic data capture technology, you get over 99% accuracy on every invoice. Plus, the automation system flags any suspicious invoices for manual review. That lets you catch potential problems and take care of them early on.
Real-time reporting and data analysis
With financial automation software, users are able to view real-time dashboards that display vital information regarding the status of a financial report. With access to real-time data, a business can make decisions based on factual data at any time without waiting for the end of the month to have access to accurate data.
Vision360 Enterprise is an AP Automation platform intended to assist in streamlining all aspects of accounts payable invoice processing. For more information consider attending one of our information webinars or contact us directly and we'll be happy to answer any questions.
Your organization is growing, you had someone leave the accounts payable department or you simply want to be able to promote from within. Either way you have a position open for an FTE in accounts payable. So what do you do?
Wages are on the rise, specialized accounts payable skill sets are rare, and the high cost of traditional recruiting can put a big freeze on hiring efforts. An organization may need to expand operations, but they may lack the resources and human capital to do so.
So what does a business do?
Many organizations are turning to accounts payable processing systems like workflow and invoice automation rather than going through the exercise of advertising, recruiting, interviewing and sifting through hundreds or possibly thousands of applications only to find that the talent pool is limited in this area.
With an accounts payable workflow and invoice automation system the tedious, time-consuming tasks associated with manually processing accounts payable invoices are completely eliminated. These tasks usually include the following:
The above scenario obviously varies company by company and person to person. Some people are faster and some people are slower. Some vendors invoices are easier than others. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these are non-essential tasks that can be handled by an accounts payable invoice processing system.
An accounts payable invoice processing system will be working non-stop for you. The system doesn't take breaks and never leaves the building. The system doesn't need time off, or benefits or extra's and it will always go the extra-mile for you whether you want it to or not.
You may want to consider an accounts payable invoice processing system before you write that next job posting. You may find that the descriptions are very similar. You may also find that the cost for an accounts payable invoice processing system like "Vision360 Enterprise" is less than the loaded cost of an FTE.
Contact us directly for more information or consider attending one of our informational webinars.
Today's CFO faces never ending pressures to grow revenues, ensure financial controls and reduce operational costs across the enterprise. This is no easy task for any CFO, who has to deal with things like economic uncertainty, increased regulatory requirements and increased scrutiny from investors.
CFO's have a few diverse and challenging roles, Steward, Operator, Strategist and Catalyst. The traditional role require CFO's to preserve the assets of the organization by minimizing risk and getting the books right and running a tight finance operation that is efficient and effective.
It's increasingly important for CFO's to be strategists, helping to shape the overall strategy and direction, instilling a financial approach and mindset throughout the organization to help all parts of the business to perform at a high level.
As Strategist, CFO's help influence the future direction of the company by taking a seat at the strategy planning table. CFO's are vital in providing financial leadership and aligning business needs and financial strategies to grow the business.
As Catalyst, CFO's can drive the execution of change within an organization. CFO's are in a position that allows them to drive business improvement initiatives such as enterprise process improvements, cost reductions, and innovations that add value to the business and affect the bottomline.
As Operator, CFO's have to operate an effective and efficient finance team that provide many different financial functions to the organization such as treasury, tax, sales, planning, analysis, accounts receivable and accounts payable.
As Steward, CFO's work to protect the vital assets of the company, ensure compliance with financial regulations, close the books accurately and communicate value and risks to investors and boards.
With all of the challenges faced by today's CFO how can Accounts Payable Automation help? By leveraging current AP Automation technologies, finance departments operate at a much higher efficiency level, with lower overall operational costs than those finance teams relying on manual processes.
The CFO can now be assured that financial rules, policies and procedures are being enforced by the AP Automation technology. This ensures that proper protections are in place, segregation of duties are enforced and compliance requirements are met.
Since today's AP Automation solutions provide an extremely high-level of efficiency gains, finance departments are no longer burdened by time-consuming, error-prone, manual tasks and can now focus on financial tasks that will help CFO's to manage cash flow, monitor liabilities and make more effective business decision regarding the future growth and bottomline of the company.
Vision360 Enterprise, by BlueCreek Software is one of the fastest growing AP Automation solution providers on the market. Our services and solutions are trusted by iconic brands like Welch’s and Yankee Candle and across all types of industries from manufacturing and retail to healthcare and high-tech. For more information about Vision360 Enterprise or any of our services and solutions please visit our website at www.Vision360Enterprise.com or contact us directly 603-437-1400.
Getting started with Vision360 AP Automation may be easier than you think. Of course any project starts with a discussion about your current payables process, where the bottlenecks are, any slow downs and what is costing your AP Staff in time, energy and money.
Do I need to purchase anything for Vision360 AP Automation?
An AP Automation project generally has these milestones:
If you're payables process relies on paper invoices, uses emails as approvals, purchase order invoices are manually matched and your AP Staff is hand keying data into your financial system - then it wouldn't hurt to give this some thought.
Join one of our informational webinars to learn more about how this all works: https://www.bluecreeksoftware.com/webinars.html
Studies show that best-in-class companies outperform other businesses by automating their invoicing processes, and other key business processes, with document imaging and workflow stems. According to Aberdeen Research’s “Invoicing and Workflow” study, businesses that automate their account payable operations reap significant advantages—including processing their invoices significantly faster and at much lower cost.
For companies that fail to automate, the study found, “Paper invoices and manual processing continue to hamper accounts payable operations, keeping suppliers in the dark and failing to give accounts payable the visibility it needs to actively manage organizations’ cash positions.”
Best-in-class companies, on the other hand, overcome this impediment by pursuing “comprehensive accounts payable automation to drive continued performance improvement.” The end goal is to maximize the impact of automation on all accounts payable processes, from receipt to scanning to approval workflow through payment.
How well does automation improve invoicing operations? According to Aberdeen’s research, best-in-class companies outperform their peers by a considerable margin, taking 3.8 days and a cost of $3.09 to process an invoice vs. the industry average (middle 50%) of 9.7 days and $15.61 per invoice. For the bottom 30%, it takes 20.08 days at a cost of $38.77 per invoice.
Respondents who implemented document imaging and workflow automation reported 21% lower invoice processing costs than others, while also securing early payment discounts on more than twice the number of transactions. Further improvements, the study found, can be gained from integration with back-end financial and ERP systems and the use of performance-monitoring dashboards.
A Surge in Workflow Deployment
Aberdeen Research’s findings jive with those of PayStream Advisors’ latest “Invoice and Workflow Automation” survey, which showed that electronic invoicing and automated workflow are both experiencing increased adoption, as more companies strive to migrate from a manual paper-based invoice system to an efficient automated system.” As PayStream Advisors notes, “Skeptics may still doubt the ROI of automated approval workflow, but it is getting harder to defend that position in the face of the facts.”
PayStream Advisors’ study, which surveyed 500 accounts payable professionals, showed that the top three financial automation technologies that have been most useful include eInvoicing, workflow, and front-end imaging/OCR. Electronic invoicing and automated workflow are the top automation goals for accounts payable in 2013, the study showed.
The number-one benefit cited for approval workflow was the quicker approval of invoices (76 percent), while one-half were able to increase employee productivity, and nearly 60% reported lower processing costs.
As PayStream Advisors notes, invoice processing can be expensive and time consuming when performed using manual processes and paper documents, while electronic invoicing and automated workflow can lower costs and speed up processing.
Overall, more than one-half of companies that adopted eInvoicing solutions cited a reduction in labor or processing costs and faster approval cycles as key system benefits, as well as greater visibility into spending, improved cash management, and an increased ability to capitalize on early-payment discounts.
As workflow technology becomes easier to deploy and more affordable, including software-as-a-service offerings, more businesses are able to obtain the benefits. As PayStream Advisors reported, “The market for electronic invoicing and automated workflow continues to open up as adoption trickles down from large organizations to small and medium enterprises.”
About Vision360 Enterprise and BlueCreek Software: BlueCreek Software is the developer of industry leading accounts payable automation system, Vision360 Enterprise. Vision360 Enterprise provides accounts payable automations services, systems and solutions to leading companies across the United States and Internationally. For more information about our Vision360 Enterprise accounts payable automation solutions please contact us www.Vision360Enterprise.com or call (603) 437-1400.
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The process of evaluating accounts payable automation solutions can be a daunting and very confusing task with all the options and possibilities.
Let's face it, accounts payable automation is not a new concept and has been around for years now. Once upon a time this type of solution was for the big boys, but today companies of all shapes and sizes can realize a significant benefit and reduction in accounts payable.
If you're interested in the cost of accounts payable automation to decide if this is even doable for your organization or need a quote to satisfy your purchasing requirements then consider using our "SELF-SERVICE" quoting system.
Vision360 Enterprise Accounts Payable Automation Solution by BlueCreek Software reduces time wasted chasing down paper invoices by automating invoice approvals, eliminating manual data entry, eliminating paper invoices and reducing processing costs.