Last week, Banksy triggered a shredder, built into the frame of his artwork, after the gavel went down on a sale of £860,000 at Sotheby’s.
Want to feel the same rush Banksy felt as he plunged his once pristine, important, artwork into its bladed fate?
Okay, it’s not going to be quite the same adrenaline kick as that, but I want to talk about creating a paperless work environment.
Chances are, you are reading this blog because ITESOFT supply Accounts Payable Automation, and you work in a Finance/IT department considering implementing automation.
Invoices are an important part of the running of a company, and always have been.
We all know that invoices need to be kept for auditory reasons, and this has previously been done by buying large filing racks, taking up lots of space in the office, and manually filing each invoice by hand.
Manual filing is now obsolete.
With the increased accessibility of cloud storage, many solutions exist to securely store your important invoices, as images and meta data, and allow easy access to auditors.
The meta data is important. Here it makes paperless storage vastly more beneficial than paper by knowing who has opened an invoice, when, and where.
If something were to be investigated about your invoices, it would be simple to know who had made a mistake / tampered with an invoice.
This also contributes towards the big data analytics available to help with supplier management and internal KPIs.
Don’t forget that when you are processing an invoice, you are effectively spending money to spend money. Any way of minimising that money spent is going to be a big win for the AP department.
If paper is involved, this adds a requirement to read the paper, type the information into your ERP, file the invoice, maybe even put that invoice in an archive.
These things add up, not to mention the cost of transporting that piece of paper, the cost of the floor space of the files, the cost of the staff to file and process the information… You get the picture.
I don’t mean go and fire all your hardworking employees. I simply mean the requirement to replace leavers, or promotions, will be reduced.
Let your staff look to progress within your company, invest in their education creating loyal and certified staff.
When invoices come through in a digital format Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) can read and understand the document, linking to a robotics tool processing the document as per company rules. This can send the invoice out for approval to any colleague or input the invoice as ready to pay in the ERP.
This negates the need to have large Accounts Payable teams, as our client Colas Rail knows, since they process in excess of 100,000 invoices per year with 1 AP clerk.
Other Digitalised Finance Processes
This year the UK government announced that as of April 2019 businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 will have to keep their VAT records digitally and provide their VAT return information to HMRC through “Making Tax Digital” (MTD) compatible software.
This is a step forcing companies to increase their finance digitalisation and future proofing the UK VAT process.
With all this in mind…
Why are you still working with paper invoices?
I’m sure that your suppliers would love to reduce their environmental impact, and their AR spend, on paper, printing, packaging, postage etc.
I’m also sure that your company would be happy to explore alternative processes which save them money.
All this needs now is for you to be the catalyst and effectively communicate the benefits to the key decision makers, become like Banksy, and shred your invoices.