Why should you automate ap? Start with the cost of your invoices. The ePayables 2015 report from Ardent Partners found that the average cost of processing a single invoice is a whopping $15, due to factors such as:
- Manual processes: The Aberdeen Group has separately estimated that 80 percent of vendor invoice activity is still paper-based, with tons of purchase orders, checks, and other documentation involved in the typical AP workflow. This, in turn, leads to long reconciliations and payment cycles.
- Limited visibility: Paying an invoice often requires specific items, such as POs, to be passed between the finance and IT departments for coding, posting, and approval; these handoffs make it easy for something to get lost since overall control and visibility of the whole process is limited.
- High opportunity cost: AP processing can take up to a month in some cases, which is a huge waste for organizations that could be putting that time toward forecasts and sales-boosting initiatives. The lost time can also result in missed chances at vendor discounts as well as incurring late penalties.
Fortunately, a much better invoice processing system is available. Cloud-based financial software such as Intacct can be integrated with applications like AvidXchange to eliminate paper and data entry, trim processing costs and regain control over cash flow.
Legendary Entertainment harnesses the power of automated accounts payable
After acquiring several other companies in the last few years, Legendary Pictures realized that its rapid growth and expansion had caused it to take on too much paper, while simultaneously having no clear workflows for AP. For this reason, it opted to automate AP.
What did the organization gain from the switch? The biggest benefits so far have been:
- Shorter approval times thanks to cross-department AP automation.
- Eliminating exposure to unrecorded liabilities, along with increased visibility.
- Less manual data entry thanks to features such as default vendor coding.
- Overall reduction in processing time by 40 percent.
- More time to devote to ensuring the accuracy of invoices.
Your accounts payable system can be remade in a similar way with Intacct and its many supported integrations. With these automated tools at their disposal, your AP team can then finally say goodbye to ad hoc paper-based processes and unpleasant surprises such as a drawer full of unpaid invoices.
As you consider the next steps in AP modernization, a partner such as RKL eSolutions offers the deep expertise and experience that you need to plan, implement, and support cloud accounting software.