Automating accounts payable: the real advantages
Automating accounts payable process is far from being the norm in small and medium businesses.
The accounts payable department is still often considered as a necessary expense that does not justify the purchase, installation and maintenance costs of software and automation equipment for invoice management.
Yet it is easy to see how manual paper tasks have a negative impact on the department and on the entire company. Just think of the inefficiency of staff spending hours on entering invoices, chasing the signatures needed for payment as well as filing and searching for invoices by hand. This increases the risk of damaging relationships with suppliers because of late payments and repeated errors. Transitioning to an automated system means being able to enter invoices quickly and accurately, giving priority to top suppliers and knowing where your bill is in the approval process. It’s the dream for any accounts payable department…
So why are companies still so reluctant to buy software for automating accounts payable process? The answer is a series of myths and misconceptions about accounts payable automation that prevents companies from moving forward in adopting these new practices.
The 4 myths about automating the accounts payable process
Automating accounts payable does not reduce errors
Maybe you have already started scanning your documents instead of hand typing them? If you are using a system based on optical character recognition, you have probably already noticed that it creates a lot of errors, OCR just isn’t reliable. But there are automated solutions that can extract data from your invoices without scanning or optical character recognition, all with 100% accuracy, because of unique data mapping capabilities.
Automating these tasks will penalize my employees
On the contrary, they’ll say thank you! Automation allows you to eliminate the tasks with no added value that your employees perform every month. You will be able to release staff and assign them to more important tasks because employees will only have to intervene in the case of exceptions.
Buying accounts payable automation software is an unnecessary expense, with no return on investment
How much do you pay in penalties for late payments? Handling accounts payable manually quickly becomes unmanageable. Did you know that the processing of an invoice by a typical accounts payable service takes up to 16 days? It is virtually impossible to pay within the time required by your suppliers (often 30 days). By automating your accounts payable, you’ll be more proactive. And often paying in advance leads to discounts. Moreover, the processing of each invoice can cost up to $ 17, which can be considerably reduced if the whole process is automated! The cost of the software will be largely offset by all these savings!
A project like this would take too long to put in place and penalize my business
You don’t have to change all your habits at once. Don’t start a big project that you will never see the end of, go one step at a time. Most companies worry that setting up the automation of their accounts payable will take an enormous amount of time. Before achieving a “perfect” situation that requires a lot of commitment, start by changing one item at a time. For example, automate payment approval or document validation. The rest will easily follow!
We at Objectif Lune know that small and medium-sized companies can’t afford to overhaul all their systems and processes as part of a large scale never ending projects. Most of the improvements we offer can be implemented gradually and with total flexibility!
Our solutions allow you to optimize your accounts payable, your way!