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Keywords: Four steps to invoice automation, accounts payable, electronic invoicing, e-invoicing, einvoicing, purchase to pay, procure to pay
Susie West | Article | 21 January 2013
During recent years, heads of finance have started to see the Accounts Payable (AP) function become more strategic, and that improved AP performance has a positive impact on profitability.
A survey by Basware approached 550 heads of AP around the world, and this eBook reveals that inefficiencies of the AP process are costly for companies.
The respondents identified human error, whether by AP or the procurement department, as the biggest cause of AP errors, and invoice scanning or data entry as the most time-consuming and error-prone step in invoice processing.
There is a clear need for automation of the finance function’s AP processes to bring in real-time visibility and control, and to remove both payment and accounting errors from the business.
Electronic invoices play a key role in this. They not only move faster than paper invoices but also provide a more complete audit trail all the way from the initial purchase order placed by the procurement department. This drastically cuts down on the time an AP clerk would spend on both internal and supplier inquiries before being able to process the invoice. Furthermore, with the rapid processing of their invoices, suppliers are able to give the valuable early-payment discounts that still so often remain out of reach to many companies.
Although a streamlined AP process saves both money and time, it can only take a company to the first stage on its journey towards broader purchase-to-pay (P2P) benefits.
The next stage would involve both the finance and procurement functions having a direct impact on companies’ working capital management and cash forecasting. As long as the procurement and AP departments remain in their separate silos, the invoice processing can never be fully automated and the real-time visibility to all corporate obligations (i.e. the combined orders not invoiced and with invoices received) will be just a dream.
This eBook introduces the four essential steps an organization will need to consider before automating its invoice handling process, and also reveals some of the real-life business benefits that a carefully planned AP process transformation has delivered to Basware customers around the world.
We hope that this reading will lead to vivid discussions within finance departments and would encourage them to embrace the comprehensive P2P vision when considering automating their AP processes.
(By downloading this report you consent to your details being shared with Basware)
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