A scalable Accounts Payable process is all about being future ready.
Are you confident that as your business grows, your tech and team can handle it?
Yes? You have a scalable Accounts Payable process. Congratulations… Why are you reading this?
No? Perhaps it’s time to search for technology that can deliver real scalability.
After all, you don’t want to be caught out.
Hopefully you will know when your company is about to grow, and your workload is going to increase.
With increased workload, and no scalability, you need more staff.
Recruitment is time consuming and labour intensive, burning valuable energy and shifting focus.
Loss of energy and lack of focus means reduced productivity.
But don’t worry you’re not alone, we see this regularly with our clients.
Already on the path to digital transformation? This 2019 whitepaper from SSL could be a good read.
What’s a scalable Accounts Payable process?
Let’s start with a definition.
An example Accounts Payable process is the management of supplier invoices.
A scalable Accounts Payable process is being able to double your invoice volume.
Without doubling your team.
This doesn’t mean cancelling all holidays and working from eight till eight.
And trust me, I have heard about companies doing this!
Is it vital to have a scalable Accounts Payable process?
In a completely manual setup, the average AP clerk can handle about 10,000 invoices a year.
If you double your invoice volume, this would mean doubling the number of staff.
Let’s assume your company is about to grow through acquisition, or expansion.
In either case, the volume of invoices your team will have to handle will increase.
This may not happen overnight, in fact, it may take time to centralise this back-office function.
Eventually, for most organisations this becomes a priority for cost savings.
A scalable Accounts Payable process will allow for this growth to happen relatively pain free.
Rather than hiring and firing staff, try using technology.
Automation technology is by its very nature, scalable. If yours isn’t you may want to think again.
The ITESOFT way.
ITESOFT will guarantee 85% capture rates.
If you are processing 50,000 invoices a year, without technology, you will have 5 AP clerks.
Say you increase to 100,000 invoices a year, with no scalability, you will need 10 AP clerks.
With Streamline for Invoices, the same increase will require 0 extra staff.
85% is the minimum guaranteed capture rate.
The reality is that the capture rate will increase over time thanks to our unique machine learning AI.
Enough of the hard selling.
Read other articles by Rory
3 ideas to help build a scalable Accounts Payable process.
1 – Go Paperless.
Okay, maybe not paperless, but as paper-free as you can.
Paper slows down processes.
Information on paper is only available in physical form, on that sheet of paper, obviously…
Digitalising, by scanning paper or convincing suppliers to go electronic, makes this data useful.
Digital documents can automatically be;
With only exceptions being handled by an AP clerk.
2 – Ensure technology will work across your systems.
During an acquisition, more often than not, your company will be taking on new software.
This brings up a challenge for your current system.
They must be able to integrate with this new software or cause serious inefficiencies.
If your AP Automation solution can only interact with one other system, business won’t be able to continue as normal.
You will lose everything that the original automation project worked so hard to achieve.
A seamless transition with agnostic technology means you can continue automation immediately.
This is scalability in action.
3 – Analyse current technology.
Is it fit for purpose?
Will any processes collapse upon expansion?
Something as simple as upgrading your scanner could be a step towards scalability.
If you expand into new territory, you could start getting invoices in different languages and currencies.
Can your current systems handle that?
How about exchange rates?
These are things you will need to consider when pursuing a scalable Accounts Payable process.