Responsive Business: Accelerating Invoice Processing Time for Agile Operations

Posted by MESHDS on Sep 15, 2023 8:00:00 AM

invoice processing time

Invoice processing is critical to your business, ensuring your invoices are paid promptly. It fosters a responsive and agile business environment where you maintain healthy cash flow to make better decisions, optimize resource allocation, and enhance your overall business agility. Here, we explain how accounts payable automation helps accelerate your invoice processing time to become a more responsive business with agile operations.

Automated Invoice Processing Eliminates Manual Tasks

Invoice processing software streamlines the accounts payable process, eliminating time-consuming, error-prone manual tasks. Manual processes make it impossible to efficiently locate data across different systems, wasting time and money with increasing paper volume, duplicate keying, inaccurate balance input, and ineffective document storage

As a result, you experience delayed payments that result in missed discounts or late payment fees. When you deploy an automated invoice processing system, your invoice processing time reduces significantly, so your complete invoice-to-pay process requires fewer hands and eyes to get your invoices paid.

Eliminate Redundancies with Accounts Payable Automation

Paying the same invoice twice wastes time, doubling the effort of your accounts payable team. Not only do they waste time paying the invoice, but then tracking the error, reconciling the payment against the books, and establishing credit with your suppliers. All the while, your cash flow suffers. This is common in accounts payable departments that either use outdated manual processes or where there aren’t clear lines of responsibility and approvals. With accounts payable automation software in Canada, you create a seamless system with full accountability, preventing redundancy and ensuring invoices are paid, recorded, and removed from the invoice-to-pay process into organized storage.

Accounts Payable Invoice Processing Audit Trails

Accounts payable audits are another time-consuming process but a necessary evil for every business’ payable cycle. Verifying your accounts payable transactions ensures everything is correct, paid, and reconciled. When you rely on disorganized paper systems, you have to sift through paper documents invoice by invoice, taking hours and increasing the risk of audit discrepancies related to lost or misfiled invoices. 

Using AP automation software is not just about creating a faster process but also about creating a central storage system for easy auditing. You can capture invoice data by scanning paper invoices into the system as your invoices arrive to limit loss, damage, and misfiled invoices so your invoices are scanned, stored, and ready for your reconciliation and auditing process. Your invoices are seamlessly organized, and your document management system automates the most time-consuming auditing tasks, saving you time so your team can focus on business-critical tasks.

Invoice Scanning Empowered By OCR

Invoice scanning today takes the critical data from your invoices and automatically inputs it into your systems. Advanced technology, known as optical character recognition or OCR, translates unstructured data on your invoice into structured data compatible with your accounts payable software. The software can recognize the letters and numbers of a paper invoice in different formats and translate it into a single format using the consistent fields of your accounts payable software. As a result, your team can:

  • Increase accuracy by eliminating manual data invoice entry
  • Save time to focus on more critical tasks relevant to effective accounting, such as creating reports to help inform business decisions
  • Accelerate invoice processing time so your vendors and suppliers get paid faster to strengthen relationships and leverage early payment discounts and credit
  • Reduce costs with less labour
  • Access real-time updates to inform decisions
  • Resolve or avoid vendor disputes with increased accuracy and speed of access to accurate data

Informing Budgeting and Decision-Making

Accounts payable software creates digital workflows to inform budgeting and decision-making. You can quickly run historical data to set an increasingly more effective budget to remove the guesswork when it comes to resource allocation. Accurate budgets also contribute to improved decision-making as you store your accounts payable data in one place. 

Reporting provides a big picture that can be drilled down to key areas so you can consider the most relevant data points to help you move your business in the right direction. Accuracy, easy access, and historical data create a powerful trifecta that contributes to accurate predictions, projections, and growth.

Improved Collaboration Through Digital Workflows

Digital workflows improve collaboration, enabling your business to streamline invoice processing timelines. You also reduce the risks associated with paper documents shared across teams during the accounts payable invoice process. Your invoices are all stored in a central hub, accessible anywhere, at any time, using role-based authorization that reduces workflow disruptions. 

Accounts payable teams can process invoices faster with digital authorizations triggered based on the invoice’s originating department. This also helps reduce redundancies and avoid paying invoices with discrepancies. Issues are resolved before payments to avoid overpayments that put needless strain on your cash flow and lead to disputes for credit with suppliers. Collaboration between your business and suppliers is also improved, with instant access to digital invoices you can share quickly.

Accounts Payable Automation Benefits

Accounts Payable automation reduces costs across the board, making employees more efficient and productive. You reduce errors, reducing time and fees associated with late payments while significantly decreasing paper to save even more time. Once deployed, accounts payable digital workflows continue to save time and money, ensuring you maximize your ROI. Accounts payable automation benefits include:

  • Vendor relationships: You improve vendor relationships, allowing you to access more favourable terms, take advantage of vendor discounts, and access more credit when needed.
  • Reduced disputes: Accuracy reduces vendor disputes while also making it easier to resolve them with supporting documents such as digital POs, invoices, and packing slips quickly searchable via your central digital document management system.
  • Reduced errors: You replace costly, error-prone paper processes with automated accounts payable records management.
  • Leaner team: You avoid common staffing issues with a leaner system that eliminates the need for additional staff during peaks and valleys.
  • Streamlined workflow: You can automate matching invoices and checks to save countless hours per week. You also eliminate stalled invoices and automate document routing while making auditing easier. Collaboration also improves, further reducing errors and speeding up your invoice processing time.

AP automation simplifies the entire invoice journey, from receipt to payment, eliminating manual tasks and reducing processing time significantly. When you embrace the power of accounts payable software, you create efficient operations, accelerate and inform decision-making, and ultimately contribute to a more responsive and agile business environment.

For more information on automated accounts payable software, scanning, OCR, and document management systems, speak to the document management experts at MES.

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