process automation

5 nightmares faced by accounts payable departments

Managing accounts payable has never been that easy. In fact, it can quickly become a veritable obstacle course for small- and medium-sized businesses, who have to pay several suppliers each month but don’t think they can afford miracle solutions to automate their processes.

A typical accounts payable employee deals with about 20 invoices a day (according to the Aberdeen Group). Think about it. That means 460 invoices a month! The Aberdeen Group also says that 80% of supplier invoices are still paper-based. Even when invoices arrive digitally, most organizations continue to print them.

So we know that your day-to-day work can become a nightmare in no time.

As an employee of an accounts payable department, here are the kinds of nightmares you may be having:

  1. Even though most of your suppliers send you their invoices in PDF format, there is no easy way to update your system. You have to go through a series of time-consuming steps: renaming the file, saving it locally as well as on the server, and entering the data into the system. Sometimes it’s simpler to print it out for handling, even though that adds costs.
  2. Some of your suppliers now have a customer portal, which should make life easier for you since you can access the invoices as soon as they are ready and process them faster. Except the IT support guy recently came to fix a problem on your machine and deleted all your cookies. Suddenly, you can no longer connect to your suppliers’ portals and have to reset all your passwords, one supplier at a time!
  3. You can’t find the invoice from one of your suppliers and wonder whether the supplier sent it some other way? Did you actually receive it? You vaguely remember seeing one of your co-workers holding it. But that may very well be a memory from last month, since you pay the same invoices month after month.
  4. One year ago, a new accounting system was installed, but a year later the integration has still not been finalized and you end up entering the same data twice.
  5. You’re surprised that you get upset when your boss tells you that the company has a new supplier. It’s because you’re thinking of all the small repetitive tasks you’re going to have to do to create the supplier, assign a number, as well create paper files and labels. All this work for a single invoice!

Do any of these nightmares sound familiar? Take hope! There are some simple ways to get them to stop.

Would you like to improve your accounts payable process? Let us know how we can help. We know that every organization works differently—and it would be a pleasure for us to get to know your particular situation and propose a tailored solution. Make an appointment for a free consultation.