Increasing Efficiency in Accounts Payable
In a time where many companies are facing the unfortunate reality of “the great resignation,” organizations with accounts payable departments that heavily rely on manual processes are facing huge obstacles. Companies are spending more money just to try to build up their departments by hiring new employees. Due to the wake of the great resignation, many experienced AP employees have left, and the new employees being hired simply don’t have the knowledge of the intricate processes involved in accounts payable. As one IOFM analyst said, gone are the days of throwing bodies at the problem in AP. The first step in increasing efficiency in accounts payable is implementing high-level automation.
Essential Accounts Payable Processes
Simply relying on staff members for manually inputting data simply won’t cut it these days. Relying on manual work increases a company’s overhead exponentially because they waste so many corporate resources. Essential processes in accounts payable include data gathering, customer service, and order processing. For increasing efficiency in accounts payable, it’s important that these processes run as smoothly as possible—however, these processes are highly susceptible to human error. The key to streamlining accounts payable processes is simpler than most might think: it lies within the harmony of high-level automation and accounts payable staff working together.
Reducing Human Error with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Accounts payable automation solutions that employ both artificial intelligence and machine learning technology are incredibly efficient at reducing human error in AP. Artificial intelligence pairs with OCR (Optimized Character Recognition) technology in order to read information off of invoices and upload them as an electronic invoice. Additionally, machine learning technology not only recognizes characters, but also recognizes patterns. Based on recognized patterns and historic data, machine learning determines rules that are then applied towards future automation. With these top-tier technologies, AP staff rarely even have to touch an invoice.
With AP automation, in the rare event that an invoice faces an exception, this process is automated as well. High level automation solutions provide access to an unlimited number of users—meaning that users across departments can correct exceptions and submit approvals if necessary. Accounts payable no longer has to manually direct each invoice to the correct location. All AP has to worry about is resolving any exceptions that do occur—and once those corrections are made, high-level automation is able to correct future occurrences thanks to machine learning technology.
Success in Accounts Payable
AP departments that utilize electronic invoicing and accounts payable automation are successful at improving operational flexibility and efficiency. AP automation enables staff to quickly resolve the few exceptions that occur. Increased efficiency in accounts payable through high-level AP automation results in improved customer satisfaction, better financial performance, and greater overall business growth.