Tim Nissen | How Optimized Are Your AP Processes?
Your Accounts Payable processes probably fit your specific organization reasonably well; having been honed over years of company growth. Though at this juncture, are they optimized?
Consider where you’d like to advance –
- Do your AP procedures need updating to suit current and future needs?
- Which parts of the process should be prioritized?
Assess these areas –
- Operations: Your efficiency in tracking, searching and viewing transaction documentation.
- Working Capital: Your challenges in scheduling and monitoring payments, and ability to capture early-pay discounts while avoiding late payment fees.
- Security: Your system’s capability to modify, monitor and grant or restrict access to AP documents and workflows.
- Compliance: Your ability to manage internal controls, to mitigating fraud, abuse and regulatory risks.
AP automation provides the ability to optimize. As your current processes are mapped to replicate in automation, you’ll see your exact flows as they currently occur manually. This visibility is an eye-opener: you’ll readily see areas of impact previously overlooked. The effective aspects of your processes will benefit from automation’s mapping, and time/cost inefficiencies will be highlighted for action at this juncture, creating methodology that makes sense.
Functionally, AP automation encompasses capture of each transaction’s documentation in any format – paper (mailed or faxed) and digital (email and attachments) with all uniformly standardized through image file creation. The information needed for processing is recognized in type, handwriting, barcodes and images, populating enterprise content management (ECM) fields. This data is verified and validated with account information stored in your ERP or line of business system through ECM integration, and then archived.
Once the capture stage is accomplished, your newly optimized workflow enables efficient, automated reviews and approvals throughout your organization.
How optimized are your AP processes? Now’s an advantageous time to see, through AP automation’s process mapping’s visibility.