According to the Institute of Finance & Management, 61% of top global companies have implemented Accounts Payable (AP) automation. But this movement hasn’t come without challenges. The main issue? Money. When a CFO looks at potential expenditures, they need to know how each one will impact their bottom line. And it’s not just the immediate impact on cash flow.
There are long-term risks (and rewards) to consider. Without the right profile, even the most promising project won’t get funding, which leads to a central question:
Is automating Accounts Payable processes worth the effort?
The ROI of AP Automation
For organizations asking this question, there is good news — AP Automation has an incredibly high ROI that scales with size. In other words, the larger the organization, the more they stand to save. Enterprises can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a year with AP Automation.
Reduce or Eliminate the Need for Manual Invoice Processing
One of the most notable and obvious benefits of AP Automation is that it allows your business to phase out tedious, time-consuming, and manual tasks. In a traditional back-office setting, Accounts Payable is a very manual process. How long does it take for one of your processors to perform a two- or three-way match? Just think, someone has to find the documents, check them line by line to make sure they’re accurate, and approve the invoices for final payment. This is often a disconnected process that AP professionals must repeat hundreds of times per month.
In an automated environment, these tasks can be completed without human intervention, resulting in fewer errors and faster invoice processing.
Work Smarter by Automating Accounts Payable Processes
By taking the manual effort out of this business process, automation makes it much faster. Time is money, so just imagine how you can reallocate and defer resources when hours aren’t wasted on manual AP processing. When you spend these hours on other important tasks, the impact on your payable department can be significant.
Those savings also start accumulating from the moment your AP Automation solution is implemented. Every electronically processed vendor transaction saves you upwards of $10, and that’s without taking into account an increase in employee productivity. Because their time and talents will be better utilized, they’ll be less likely to leave for more challenging roles, and you won’t have to invest resources in hiring and training their replacements.
Automating Custom AP Practices
AP professionals follow business processes designed to help them overcome the challenges they encounter on a day-to-day basis. Software that can’t be configured to your specifications can’t provide the same ROI as a solution that can be completely tailored to the user’s needs.
For instance, our AP Automation software is designed to provide the highest possible return on investment. Our Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform, which features robust Document Management, AP Automation, and an array of other products and capabilities, can help your organization by:
- Capturing documents from all inbound formats, including paper, emails and attachments, and native electronic files of any type.
- Indexing the data as soon as it’s received and using it to populate user-specific, designated fields within your ERP.
- Integrating with any and all ERP technologies, helping companies extend the software investments that they’ve already made.
- Automating key workflows to complete them before the deadline.
Here’s a sobering statistic:
More than 75 percent of payment-based supplier discounts go unclaimed by purchasers because they can’t process their invoices quickly enough to take advantage.
With fully configurable workflows, you can protect, standardize, and streamline your organization’s particular business processes. Only now, they will be faster, and you will have more accurate, real-time visibility into the status of every project and transaction. You will also be less likely to overlook a potential discount — and late fees will be a thing of the past.
Find Out How You Can Reduce Workflow Costs
Many studies suggest that the ongoing cost savings of Accounts Payable Automation can top 70 percent when compared to manual AP processes. At IntelliChief, we’re proud to say that our customers typically achieve a full return on their investment within a single year.
In conclusion, and to answer our titular question, is automating Accounts Payable processes worth the effort? You tell us.