So, you’ve finished your long-awaited accounts payable automation project. Now it’s time to leverage your department’s expertise to make the most of your invoice automation solution.
Of course, you want to make sure your investment is working as hard as you have been to get it up and running. The following steps will set you off in the right direction to maximise productivity and efficiency of your solution.
Regularly evaluate your data quality through analytics.
Knowing the cleanliness of your data is an important step to getting the most from your invoice automation solution. This is key at any stage of the process, from what suppliers are putting on the invoices, to your own master data.
Using state of the art dataviz technology you can clearly see when and where your processes are falling short.
Analytics empower so you can pick out which suppliers are constantly missing POs from invoices increasing your payment cycle.
If you are on top of these factors and your data is spotless, automation will be much smoother and easier to trust.
Maintain positive supplier relationships.
Utilising your invoice automation solution to keep paying suppliers on time will cheer up most of your suppliers.
But what about the few suppliers whose invoices require approval from various levels of the business? What can you do once they start chasing the invoice, calling AP non-stop to find out when it will be paid?
Hopefully you invested in a supplier portal and instead of taking up your AP’s time with phone calls, they can instead check the portal for an update.
Keeping your suppliers happy will reduce mistakes in invoices and allow your invoices to flow through the system with as little effort as possible.
Continuous reviewing of solutions.
Now you have your systems in place, this is not a time to rest and keep your eye off the market.
You should always be reviewing your solutions since technology is constantly changing, and the applications of such technology are always being challenged.
This does not mean you have to change your solution every year, however you may want to look into a SaaS model allowing you access to the most up to date versions of the software without spending extra money on upgrades.
Sit back and watch the general ledger fill up with payments.
If you want to manually check invoices are being processed correctly, perhaps you have picked some at random as a sample, you can always check the general ledger within your ERP and look for those payments.
This should be populated with approved amounts waiting for the next payment run, as it would if your team manually input the information to the system (since that is what the solution is automating).
Automation is a great tool to help push your Accounts Payable team into the 21st Century, however it does not allow you to completely step away from the AP process.
Some things will be in place within your existing invoice automation solution to help, such as a shared repository of supplier master data, analytics modules, supplier portal. These are powerful tools with which you will maximise your department’s efficiency.
Paying your supplier invoices on time is one thing, having them ready to pay in 1.2 days is a whole other ball park.