Boost Productivity with AP Automation

Manual accounts payable processes are universally known to be very involved and resource heavy, often resulting in some amount of error along the way. With effective AP automation these concerns can be alleviated, creating opportunity for a range of benefits. The perks of automation have resulted in its implementation among AP professionals for the last couple of years, and are beginning to inspire a more widespread acceptance within the industry. Though there are several benefits to AP automation including decreased costs, reduced errors, and a streamlined process, we want to highlight the boost to productivity it will undoubtedly provide. According to the 2014 Automation Study conducted by The Institute of Financial Operations, respondents including finance executives, shared services directors, and AP managers, reported a range of automation use within their process scaling from less than 10% to 90%. One of the conclusions this study provided, was the discovery of a trend towards more efficient and time saving processes with the use of automation. “While 72 percent of respondents said it takes them five days or fewer for data entry, validation, and approval of an invoice, 10 percent reported completing the process in less than a day – and 9 percent said they do it in less than an hour.” This meaningful time saved by eliminating routine tasks is unprecedented, and can be re-distributed for any number of projects or new initiatives, or even inspire members of your team who were previously bogged down with labor intensive tasks. Company resources can be maximized when there are fewer people and physical supplies needed to process invoices. Staff are consequently left with...

Benchmarking Accounting Costs

With today’s economic climate and fierce competition, companies today must ensure their accounting operations are competitive in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. A recent article by APQC highlights some interesting ratios on what it costs to run the best of class accounting operations in the world today.  The article can be found here.  What is very interesting is that best of class accounting operations cost only 0.4% per $1000 per revenue.  Another study by CIMA revealed that best in class accounting operations are between 0.6% and 0.7% of total Revenue The big change in the last 5 years is that the cost of technology to acheive those savings are as low as a few dollars per day as opposed to hundreds of dollars per day in the past.  With new technology we are now integrating for our clients, we are seeing accounting costs tumble for some small and mid sized companies drop 30% to 60% in some cases. If you want to find out more, just contact us and we can show you...

5 Benefits of Automating Accounts Payable

 The accounts payable process is crucial in any business, yet it can be very inefficient and sometimes inaccurate. Many businesses still rely on the traditional method of manual data entry and paper format. Others have eliminated the use of paper, saving time and energy and delivering fiscally better results. Still others are finding even more savings through fully automated A/P functions.  Automating Account Payable Process will help generate the following benefits: Eliminates Paper Paper can be digitized.  With automated AP, you can now start managing electronic documents as opposed to paper.  If you receive invoices in paper format, you can now scan and capture all received items in the account payable process immediately. Better still, ask your suppliers and vendors to directly send you invoices in electronic format.  It will be beneficial for them as well. Eliminates the risk of Duplicate invoices/payments Vendors might send the same invoice twice via different channels.  Detecting a duplicate invoice and discarding the same, is a slow process, especially without automation software.   It causes unnecessary re-work on the part of your AP team.   Automation can spot duplication at an early stage and prevent losses and confusion. More details within your Accounting System  Your back-end accounting system is a helpful source of information.  However, due to manual data entry limits, one does not always get all the information captured with in the accounting system, especially when trying to pay invoices.  Through automation, you can get more details about the invoice, including the ability to reconcile details to outstanding purchase order numbers.  Invoice amounts from a supplier can now be verified for reliability and accuracy,...

Task Automation

Would you like to begin to enjoy the benefits of a four hour work week? Would you like to have more time to do what you want and less time doing monotonous tasks? Then you need to start leveraging the power of the internet and the power of today’s technology. You need to start with task automation. What is Task Automation? Task automation is the use of various systems and technologies to minimize or reduce the amount of human intervention to complete the task or process. What are examples of Task Automation? Let’s look at completing a telephone call. When you dial, do you need to talk to an operator to help route your call and wait until that operator is done? OR, do you just punch in a number and the call is immediately connected to the phone of the person? That is Task Automation. When you got to an ATM and withdraw cash, do you ask a person to give you the cash and wait until that person is done? Or, does the ATM immediately dispatch the cash after you ask for it? That is Task Automation. Remember in 1981 when the word processor was introduced by Digital Equipment?  The cost PER INDIVIDUAL WAS OVER $15,000 But productivity for those companies went up 400% or more, generating them more profit and making a lot of executives rich! Today, you can get even better word processing technology for $199 or even free! Today, technology to automate your tasks is now available to individuals, small and mid sized businesses that was previously only available to the largest of corporations....

Payables Automation – Everyone can do it

Last week, we met with a rapidly growing software company that was a global leader in their niche.  They continue to grow in the double digits.  However, their cash flow and profitability was hampered by two issues – travel/expense processing and accounts payable. We showed them our paperless accounts payable and expense processing solution.  Almost immediately, their finance and accounting team realized they could cut their time to process invoices and expense reports by 90%.  They would also be freed up to take on more responsibility, particularly working with the sales and services team to improve profitable growth and cash flow.  With that, they are now planning to go live in August with our solution. As we connect with accounting functions across a wide range of industries and show them the tools available to automate their accounts payable and expense reporting, these same accounting functions soon realize the power they can tap into to become a ‘key person’ for their company. With our paybles and expense report automation solutions in place at other clients, our clients’ transactional accounting functions are rapidly lowering their per invoice processing costs while dramatically improving transparency, visibility and control.  They are soon becoming a source of advice (i.e. spend analytics) and a role model for other functions on control, efficiency and effectiveness. Like any accounting entry, there are two sides for every automation solution.  AP and expense report automation is having some positive impacts to the organization.  By eliminating manual efforts, people’s time is freed up to take on new work and assignments more valuable than shuffling paper and data entry.  We have seen accounts payable departments become internal auditors and spend analysts as opposed to employees...

Office Automation System

One of the biggest problems we see at many companies we visit are overworked staff in the back office.  We see many of them are just trying to survive, getting their work done with the tools given to them with no understanding or knowledge how to make work more enjoyable or free up time for customer service, innovation or taking on more work. With the rapid expansion of the internet, the increased digitization of data and rapid decrease in technology costs, employees and companies can now put in a office automation system that will reduce overtime, processing times and improve morale. To begin building your office automation system, I recommend you ask three questions: What process or tasks causes me the most stress or anxiety that I would like to have an office automation system take over? If there is one task that I would like an office automation system to take over, what would it be? What would be the benefits to me and our company be by putting in this office automation system? The benefits of asking these three questions is it will begin to activate your creativity and allow to begin to see that cost effective solutions to automate your problems are now available to you.  It will allow you to ‘connect the dots’ by seeing how leveraging a bit of technology at the right task or step in the process will generate huge returns. In conclusion, identifying opportunities for a office automation system is not hard.  It just takes effort to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you.  You will...
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