Leveraging AP automation to regain accounts payable control

AP automation gives you greater visibility over your financial processes so you’re always in control of your spending.

Leveraging AP automation to regain accounts payable control

Employee fraud costs Australian businesses millions of dollars each year, with a lack of oversight and quality systems in the accounts payable department a major contributor to the systemic issue.

Fraud from external sources seeking to extort gaping holes in accounts payable processes is also a serious threat, as Google and Facebook recently experienced when a man used invoice fraud to steal $123 million dollars by posing as vendors and sending invoices for services that never happened.

It’s not surprising, considering a survey by Lloyd’s Bank found that only 20% of companies review invoices before paying them. Disturbingly, 37% of businesses don’t have any systems or processes in place to prevent invoice fraud.

A lack of oversight in accounts payable (AP) doesn’t only give rise to theft either. It also leads to:
   •  substantial lost opportunities in data capture and analytics
   •  lost money with no way to know or identify the source
   •  inability to innovate quickly
   •  difficulty in scaling

The benefits of a single pane of glass through which to view a business’s accounts payable function cannot be overstated. Every business – particularly those with complex AP processes or large volumes of invoices – stand to benefit from leveraging new technologies that provide the transparency needed to regain control.

Gain control of accounts payable with AP automation

In an article from McKinsey, we find that organisations waste up to 4% of their overall external spend on excessive transaction costs, inefficiency and noncompliance. For an organisation with an annual spend of $2 billion, that’s a remarkable $70 million a year that could go towards improving the bottom line.

The same article goes on to estimate that more than 90% of payment processing tasks could be largely or fully automated – which, if implemented, would in turn allow companies to circumvent a decent portion of this wasted annual spend and increase profits.

Automating accounts payable provides a suite of benefits and empowers you to regain control of your AP processes.

How?

Transparency: It’s almost impossible to gain a single source of truth when using legacy tools such as spreadsheets and emails. The siloed and manual nature of these methods mean there is never a reliable data trail. Yet with AP automation, all invoices filter through the same system and can be automatically verified. This means transparency is not only possible – it’s guaranteed.

Scalability: How many man hours does it take to process a vendor’s invoice? How about 10,000 invoices? Traditionally, growing your company meant scaling your resources to meet demand (and often at a large cost to the business). AP automation can take on the job of 10 staff which removes the need for new hires when you scale and allows you to direct existing staff to higher value tasks.

Security: Imagine a system that automatically completes these tasks:
   •  invoice to purchase order and delivery receipts matching
   •  routing to the right person for approval
   •  validity checking and flagging of discrepancies
   •  form locking to prevent tampering

These are just a handful of the capabilities of AP automation that allow you to regain control of security in your AP department.

Data: Data is now worth more than gold, and business leaders are increasingly seeking to leverage data for the fascinating insights it provides. A study by Ardent Partners and Canon found that “accounts payable sits on a veritable goldmine of data. It has access to all of an enterprise’s core spend data and can provide intelligence and insights into how an organisation is performing from a spend, cash management, and financial perspective.”

Of business leaders surveyed in the study, more than half said they would value deeper, more agile analytics in the AP space.

Companies that have already implemented AP automation are already reaping benefits such as these. They’re 2.2 times more likely to leverage data and intelligence to improve invoice exception-handling, and twice as likely to use it to improve stakeholder collaboration.

Accounts Pain-able no more

A large energy company used AP automation to take over a collection of manual invoice processing tasks and is now saving over $15,000 and 760 hours of employee time every month.

Results such as these are available to every business if business leaders are willing to examine inefficiencies and consider how advances in technology can solve them.

AP automation in particular offers a huge opportunity to transform a crucial area of the business into a knowledge hub equipped with critical business data to drive excellence in decision making.

We are proud to be working at the leading edge of AP automation and offer a solution that will streamline your accounting workflows, improve efficiency and achieve a guaranteed 98.5% minimum data accuracy.

For your business, this means:
   •  eliminating high cost invoice processing
   •  cutting costly errors and diminishing hidden costs
   •  reducing processing delays
   •  freeing staff from low value tasks
   •  decreasing fraud and cybercrime
   •  enhancing compliance and internal controls
   •  boosting financial visibility
   •  finally being able to do away with legacy systems

Our AP automation solution ultimately gives you greater visibility over your financial processes, so you’re always in control of your spending.

There are no upfront licensing costs or a need to licence, and because it’s cloud-based you can have the peace of mind that you’re always working with the latest version.

It’s AP, but pain-free.

To discuss how our AP automation solution can drive visibility in your business, contact us.