The automation of accounts payable is not yet mainstream in the world of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Far from there!
The accounts payable department is still very often seen as a simple cost that does not justify purchasing, installing, and maintaining software and hardware for automating the management of supplier invoices.
Yet, it is easily demonstrable that paper and manual tasks harm the department and the entire company. Think about the inefficiency of staff spending hours entering invoices, obtaining signatures for the payment agreement, or filing and researching invoices. To this must be added the risk of damaging its relationship with suppliers in the event of late payment or repeated errors. Moving to automation means entering invoices quickly and accurately, prioritizing the best suppliers, and knowing what stage of the approval process invoices are at! The dream for any accounts payable department.
Does your business accept these technological advancements?
Today OCR process is compelling. They make it possible to quickly enter and extract information from supplier invoices with great precision.
The elements of entering accounts payable and chronicling are viewed as an operating expense. Mechanizing instalments can help a business take vital administration drives.
So why businesses are still so reluctant to source software that enables accounts payable automation?
The answer is linked to a series of myths and misconceptions surrounding the automated accounts payable that prevent companies from adopting new practices.
Myths of Accounts Payable Automation
Automating Accounts, Payable Doesn’t Necessarily Reduce Errors.
Perhaps you have started scanning your documents instead of entering them by hand? If you are using a system based on optical character recognition, you must have noticed that it allows many errors to pass. Indeed, they are unreliable. But there are automation solutions that can extract data from your invoices without scanning or OCR and with 100% accuracy, thanks to some unique data mapping capabilities.
My employees will be penalized for the automation of their tasks
On the contrary, they will say thank you! Automation allows you to eliminate the non-value-added jobs your employees do each month. You will be able to free up staff and assign them to more important strategic priorities because employees will only have to act in case of exceptions.
Getting accounts payable software is a wasteful expense, with no return on investment possible.
Manually processing accounts payable quickly becomes unmanageable. Did you know that it takes up to 16 days for a typical accounts payable service to process an invoice? It is practically impossible to manage to pay within the deadlines demanded by your suppliers (often 30 days). By use of accounts payable software, you will be more proactive. You will surely get some discounts by paying in advance.
The expenses to obtain the software will therefore be offset mainly by all these savings.
A project of this kind would take me too long to set up and would penalize my activities.
You don’t have to change all of your habits all at once. Take it one step at a time, and don’t jump into a big project that you won’t see the end of. Most businesses imagine that getting their accounts payable automation in place will be very time-consuming. Before you want to achieve a perfect situation that requires a lot of commitment, start by changing one element at a time. For example, automate payment approvals or document validation. The rest will follow easily!
The key to successful automation is rigorous analysis, an audit of the current situation, and recommendations. This kind of integration will permit your business to attain maximum return on investment (ROI).