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Manual Data Entry: Stop Being Dragged Down

By iPayables | October 8, 2020

If you want something done right, do it yourself. This mantra of control may be sound for some things, but not everything and especially not manual data entry. In the business world, it’s become smarter – even essential – to automate the workflow whenever possible, and invoicing is no different.

Manual data entry is becoming a thing of the past for accounts payable departments, as it should be. In studies, it has been shown that a human working with data is far more likely to make an error than a computer. After all, computers don’t rely on eye-hand coordination, and they don’t get distracted or tired. Errors can be costly, causing trouble for your company in a myriad of ways, from irate suppliers who don’t get paid on time to audits that don’t add up.

One approach is to have a data checker look for errors, but that’s expensive and frustratingly slow. In the lightning-fast business environment of today, it’s more important than ever to get things done quickly and right the first time. That’s why more and more accounts payable departments are turning to accounts payable invoice automation (APIA) to meet the challenge.

With invoicing, the manual method requires someone to copy information into a computer at one or more points in the workflow. These “points of entry” can include everything from receipt of a paper invoice to drafting a bank check, and even addressing the envelope. Something can go wrong at any juncture, bringing the process to a grinding halt and causing delay. Worse, the error might be overlooked, and that’s where it can get really costly.

Manual data entry is a tedious, time-consuming process for your employees who could be attending to other important things. It’s stressful, too, because handling invoice data manually is slow and often means your employees have payment deadlines hanging over their heads.

With Electronic Invoicing nearly every function is performed by the computer, hands-off. An invoice is received electronically from the supplier, matched up with the supplier’s account information and the purchase order it was based on, then rerouted to the procuring department for authorization. Authorization is completed from that department with a few keyboard strokes then rerouted back to accounts payable for payment. Payment to the supplier is made electronically at cyber speed.

Speaking of speed, the difference in turnaround time can be phenomenal. Many of iPayables’ clients have reported turnaround in a fraction of what it took in the past, not only doing away with late fees but making dynamic discounting possible.

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