As competition is increasing every day in most business sectors, organizational leaders ask all their departments to start playing a more strategic role in both controlling costs and driving growth. And, of course, AP departments are no exception. But, the fact is that many AP teams seem to already be working under extreme pressure to be doing more with less. As invoice volumes increase, their invoice processing is projected to grow equally more complex. In fact, 39 percent of AP professionals reported that their total invoices have seen an increase of as much as 10 percent over the past year. AP teams from companies of all sizes have reported spending approximately half of their time dealing with transaction processing.
So, what are the most pressing issues for most AP departments? There are three very important elements:
- Data Accessibility
- Volume & Complexity
The serious issue of data accessibility doesn’t just involve what data is accessible. It’s also all about where it is accessible. More and more these days, the decision-makers in AP are sorely in need of not only better data access but also vast improvements in technology that allows them to gain access to it when and where they really need it. Many companies’ accounts payable departments are falling short, without AP Automation and E-Invoicing to solve their overall accessibility problem. This is a valid concern when you think of a company’s health and well-being being dependent upon an accounting department that serves the entire company effectively daily.
In addition, the use of mobile office workers has been increasing recently due to globalization. When invoices need to be approved, but those workers don’t have the ability to access the relevant information and documents, the result could be a serious delay in invoice processing. So, many AP departments have already started to look for new and improved methods for meeting the impending challenge via AP automation and E-invoicing.
Volume & Complexity
Statistics also show that 50 percent of the total invoices worldwide are still arriving as paper copies, approximately 33 percent via email, and only approximately 19 percent are being transmitted electronically. AP teams are spending seemingly endless man-hours manually sorting invoices and keying
in the massive amounts of payment data from a multitude of documents and other sources. All of this can result in data-entry errors, misplaced documents, and/or delayed or missed payments, necessitating additional approvals and unnecessary discrepancy resolution.
With the current news of stories about high-profile data breaches, it’s no wonder that organizations of all types and sizes are sensitive when it comes to the protection of all their data. That’s why many of them are spending more and more each day on data protection technology. And, AP departments are often at the center of this war on data breaches based on the information that they are responsible for every day. Unlike paper invoice processing, AP automation can help secure your important customer data while also increasing speedy access and enabling easier disaster recovery.
No matter what industry or field your company is involved in, Accounts Payable Automation is an important part of its future. Keeping organizations aligned with the proper AP Automation tools, as mentioned above, can help lead them to their ultimate success.