Accounts Payable automation isn’t breaking news anymore, in fact, it has been in the discussion for years now. This isn’t about the effectiveness or benefits of using these types of technologies, this is about those who aren’t using them – and why?
It should be stated for the purpose of clarity, the facts supporting how beneficial, profitable and effective accounts payable automation has become. More companies are making the shift to automated accounts payable solutions, as revealed by statistics like this one from a recent survey:
The reason for this is certainly because of the considerable benefits of automating the accounts payable process. Another report highlighted some of those benefits and is definitely worth a look, it can be seen here. These are few of the key points from that report:
- Invoice processing time can be cut from twenty days to three days using automation.
- Organizations using automated AP systems can process four times as many invoices versus those who aren’t using automation.
- Manual invoicing can require more than fifteen steps to complete processing.
Did you note the correlating advantages for these points? Time saved using an automated process, capability to improve cash flow with quicker processing and money saved from eliminating unnecessary manual functions. The facts are evident and the benefits are clear but…
Is There a Problem?
If we go back, not that far, we see that there has been hesitancy from the business community at-large to engage and thrust their financial trust into technology systems. This may be perhaps, the final frontier as customer service, marketing and even security have become almost entirely encompassed by the world of digital technology.
This was from a survey just a few years ago…
- Nine in 10 organizations still deal, at least in part, with paper invoices.
We are seeing the move toward automating accounts payable processes and it is obviously just a matter of time. If there was ever a problem in using AP technology and these types of intelligent systems, it had more to do with human trust than it did performance.
Maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising that this sector of business operations is the last to join the technology age. As an individual or a business, we hold our wallets closely and pretty tightly too. This is a block of our security and the ability to provide for ourselves and for businesses it is success or failure.
Even with these close-to-home concerns it can’t be ignored that businesses and people are now transacting business and making financial exchanges online and electronically, daily. The solution to the human factor will be availed through automated accounts payable systems providing business solutions. The more companies we see enhancing and improving their businesses the better those “trust” issues will become.
The lag for adopting automation for some companies could be an integration, personnel or financial issue. These are also problems that no longer present the obstacles they may have once, a long time ago. This is technology and design at work today providing affordable and simple integrations. User access and operation is also a process that the best software systems take into account. They answer with user-friendly interfaces and great customer service.
If there is one remaining concern, it is with the partners, associates and companies we do business with, either as a merchant or supplier. Some of our associates have not yet updated their own business operations creating an incompatibility issue.
The truth is that growth and progress often comes with growing pains. These pains will pass and it won’t be long before businesses who aren’t set up for automating AP processes will be set up for failure. Accounts payable automation is simply smart business and we will learn to trust that.