Document Management & Workflow Blog

17 Dec 2020 Colin Graf

5 Obstacles You Can Overcome with Intelligent AP Automation

person completes e-form on iPad, AP automation

Intelligent accounts payable (AP) automation transforms invoice processing for streamlined, integrated workflows, enhanced risk management, and improved invoice lifecycle.

When there is too much document shuffling in your AP processes, you risk more than paper cuts. Paper-bound tasks reduce efficiency, increase errors, raise costs, and leave you with poor visibility into payment status.

With AP automation software, organizations can shift from paper-based to cloud-based accounting structures. The result? Empowered remote teams that can work effectively without the many risks of maintaining physical financial documents.

Businesses are projected to spend billions on enterprise solutions over the next five years – with most of this dedicated to invoice and AP automation. Get ahead of the curve with state-of-the-art automation that will solve these five common AP obstacles:

1. Overreliance on Manual Work

As much as 70% of invoices are manually processed in paper form, requiring teams to spend their valuable time conducting tedious tasks. And even when invoices are emailed, they’re more often than not routed to an AP clerk who manually enters the data in a costly, time-consuming process. This overreliance on manual work is outdated and a drain on accounting resources.

With AP automation, employees who currently spend hours on data entry can reallocate their time to more pressing, strategic endeavors.

2. Human Error in Repetitive Tasks

Even the best AP clerks make mistakes, and those errors add up quickly, slowing down your invoice lifecycle. Research shows that laggard invoice processes cost companies over $16 per invoice, taking an average of 16 days from retrieval to payment. In contrast, AP automation streamlines this process. It eliminates human errors, provides a turn time of just 4 days and reduces costs to just $3.34 per invoice.

While manual data entry is slow and difficult to monitor for exceptions and approval, AP automation software quickly processes invoices and flags incongruencies for review. The result is a much better error rate, significantly lower than the 3-5% rate that manual processes typically yield, and an overall faster AP process.

3. Poor Financial Visibility

Paper trails are not only costly, they lack crucial insights that a digital process can offer. Physical documents are typically stored separately, preventing you from maintaining full visibility into budgeting.

Through strategic optical character recognition (OCR), machine learning, and natural language technologies, AP automation can classify, separate, and extract unstructured data. From there, AP automation solutions store documents in an easy-to-access cloud-based repository for further analysis. With data at your fingertips, you always have the insights into budgeting you need to make better business decisions, faster.

4. Inability to Safely Store Documents

Unlike digital documents, physical files are more vulnerable to being lost, damaged, or destroyed. Every time your company loses one invoice, it costs you an average of $100 to retrieve it. Therefore, safely storing documents to prevent losing them is critical to maintaining a low-cost process.

With a cloud-based repository of AP documents, you can securely store and access files from anywhere. You no longer have to worry about the risks of permanently losing files or the costly repercussions that follow.

5. Departmental Silos

Ineffective integration of AP processes with line of business (LOB) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems leads to departmental silos that hurt your entire organization. The other departments within your organization rely on you and your team to provide accurate data in a timely manner so that they can make the right decisions quickly. This is only possible through effective integration.

Fortunately, an industry-leading digital AP automation platform seamlessly integrates with your LOB and ERP systems. It provides you with key tools and insights for informed decision-making, increased visibility, and improved productivity for your entire organization.

Empower Your Team with End-to-End Automation

Integrated, intelligent automation delivers end-to-end solutions for companies across industries. Kofax® provides a touchless invoice processing system that boasts a 95% OCR rate, as well as on-premise and cloud-based versions for both purchase order and non-PO invoice processing.

Empowered with AP automation, organizations can experience:

  • Increased employee productivity
  • Lower processing costs
  • 20% faster invoice processing
  • Strengthened internal controls
  • Enhanced visibility
  • Optimized cash management
  • Reduced error rates
  • Increased operational flexibility
  • Lower total cost of ownership

As a Kofax platinum partner, as well as one of the leading Kofax resellers in the country, MetaSource has over 20 years of experience developing and implementing complex AP solutions for companies of all sizes. As certified Kofax consultants, MetaSource’s experts can bring transformative digital solutions to your back office, automating every aspect of the invoice lifecycle from capture to audit.

To learn more, watch our webinar on the Power of AP Automation or contact us through the link below to get started.

Contact us to learn more