Tools and Software for Accounts Payable (AP) Automation
In today's world there are many challenges hindering the performance of the AP Staff and their ability to effectively process and pay invoices. Most of these challenges are out of the control of the AP Department all together. Since March of 2020, staffing issues have been plaguing business all across the United States, as well as affecting companies internationally.
There has also been a growing trend towards a remote workforce. This in itself creates a major bottleneck for AP Departments at many levels. First, if the AP Staff is working remotely, yet suppliers are sending invoices into the corporate office then this creates an instant challenge. If AP Staff are working remotely and the physical invoices are located elsewhere, what do they do? Let's consider the fact that buyers and invoice approvers, may in fact also be working remotely. This now compounds the problem because now the AP Department has got to track down the approver and somehow get invoices to them in a timely manner.
Assuming this back and forth goes as well as it can possibly go for invoice approvals, the AP Staff still have the time consuming challenges related to matching purchase order (PO) invoices against PO's and Goods Receipts, most companies call this the "3-way match".
One of the last steps to processing accounts payable invoices is entering the relevant invoice data into the ERP financial system to post the invoice for payment.
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Accounts Payable OCR & Invoice Data Capture
I-OCR or Intelligent Optical Character Recognition. Now where getting somewhere, bringing OCR into the 21st century is I-OCR. If you can think of it this way, OCR was the start, applying OCR to a document converted the entire document to searchable text. Now, lets take OCR and add some intelligence to it, I-OCR. By adding intelligence to the OCR software we can now help it to learn and think more like a human, like the way you and I are thinking right now. I-OCR software can look at the data and interpret the data and extract only the text necessary for processing supplier invoices.
RPA or Robotic Process Automation. RPA now takes the process to a new level. Uses a combination of I-OCR along with automated processes that systematically apply business rules to supplier invoices and treat them as an AP Specialist would. Now, error-prone, manual tasks that require human intervention can be completely automated further enhancing the capabilities of your accounts payable process.
Accounts Payable Invoice Workflow
Invoice Approval Routing is a subset of the AP Workflow business rules and is a key component to the success of an Accounts Payable Automation project. The approval routing ensures that supplier invoices are systematically directed to the correct approver, the first time, without the need for an AP Specialist to intervene.
Read more about Accounts Payable Automation here: "Accounts Payable Automation Services, Systems & Solutions"
Accounts Payable Automation & PO Matching
When comparing Accounts Payable Automation software, systems, and solutions this is a key area to focus on as PO invoice matching is not handled the same way in all systems, i.e. some systems do not have the ability to apply tax rules or efficiently deal with variances.
Accounts Payable Automation Dashboards
Accounts Payable Automation ERP Integration
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