Take a look at any accounts payable survey from the past few years and one thing will become instantly apparent: when it comes to the things keeping Accounts Payable (AP) departments awake at night, very little changes over time and it’s now an era to breakthrough.
Year after year, the need to ‘improve processes’ tops the list of accounts payable concerns, revealing that for the most part, companies are making minimal headway in this area. What’s most interesting of all is that the solution to this problem – process automation – is also one of the things that’s preoccupying AP departments around the world. This raises the question: if businesses know the solution to improving their processes, why aren’t they doing anything about it?
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
One of the key reasons why AP processes have been slow to automate is that companies have little control over the amount of paper documentation they need to process. Paper documents – including faxes, emails and PDFs that require manual handling account for between 50 and 70 per cent of the invoices processed by the average business. As a result, many businesses are faced with a situation where as little as 30% of their accounts payable can be processed by typical automated solutions – a proportion that often isn’t worth the investment.
This hasn’t stopped many businesses attempting to automate their processes. And yet, few have succeeded. Many transformation projects have been hampered by prohibitive implementation costs driven by the need for extensive customisation, difficulties integrating with existing proprietary solutions and the rapid pace of change rendering many solutions out of date as soon as they are put in place.
So, how can businesses resolve these issues and take process improvement off their list of concerns for good? This is a question we aim to answer in our Streamline for Invoices brochure, which explores the benefits of automated document capture solutions that empower businesses to eliminate paper-based processes and create smooth, straight-through processing that improves your cash flow and increases transparency. Download now to discover how you can automate invoice capture, reconciliations, discrepancies, accounts payable workflows using cloud-based technology that is flexible enough to accommodate diverse document formats, future-proofed to protect your investment and robust enough to benefit other areas of your business.