Why Invoice Scanning Is an Effective Solution for Accounts Payable

Posted by Andrew D'Arcy on Oct 22, 2019 10:24:00 AM
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Topics: accounts payable

Operational inefficiencies are costing your business anywhere from 20 to 30% of your yearly revenue.

That's a huge amount of money to be wasting. One of the key ways that you can improve the efficiency of your accounts payable department is by investing in invoice scanning software. 

Read on to learn what it is and how it will benefit your business. 

What is Invoice Scanning?

These days, more and more businesses are moving away from paper towards a digital way of sending and paying invoices. We see less and less filing cabinets with rows of folders and more digitized documents.

Most businesses receive invoices in digital format such as PDF, scanned image, photo or Google doc. This makes storage capacity a non-issue and helps reduce a company's carbon footprint.

Each invoice includes important data that is necessary for accounting, business intelligence applications and resource planning. 

Yet, the problem remains: how can organizations leverage the data in those invoices? And how can you access that data and put it where it should go?

This is where invoice scanning software comes in. Invoice imaging is an automated data entry solution specifically made for invoices.

Invoice scanners can recognize all the data from the invoice and converts it to a format that works for you. This means you don't have to re-key invoice data to your ERP system.

Free Tip Sheet: 3 Ways to Streamline Accounting with Business Process Automation

Works For Different Layouts

Unlike some software that can extract data from a specific layout, invoice scanners can extract data from unknown layouts.

Considering that you might receive hundreds (or thousands) of different invoice formats, it's not practical to train a computer system to learn each format.

That's why invoice processing software doesn't scan based on the position of the data. Instead, smart filters find specific data such as the due date and total price wherever they might be on the invoice.

The software scans for keywords such as total due followed by numbers. This works well for most metadata fields. In most cases, no user checks are needed to verify the accuracy.

As you can imagine, the benefits of invoice scanning software are limitless. Here are a few ways that invoice imaging can benefit accounts payable departments.

Improved Accuracy

Manually keying in data is slow and subject to human error. It is possible that this will lead to incorrect or duplicate payments.

Invoice scanning software removes the risk of human error. You can be sure that you always have accurate invoice information in front of you. 

Saves Time

Time is money! One of the best results of invoice processing software is the saved time.

Employees in accounts payable have much to do. They really shouldn't waste their time with data entry. 

Using invoice scanning allows them to focus on the aspects of their job that they are specially trained to do. This leads us to our next benefit of invoice scanning: efficiency. 

Don't forget to check out our Definitive Guide to Accounts Payable Automation!

Better Efficiency 

It's easy for incoming invoices, exceptions, and vendors to overload your accounts payable department.

These workers can spend hours each day tracking down the status of several invoices. Invoice scanning allows your team to stop playing whose desk is the invoice on?

They won't have to track invoice approval statuses from internal departments or branch offices. They can stop worrying about stalled invoices and inaccurate accruals.

Automated matching of invoices to checks can save countless hours each week.

By automating this process, your staff will no longer have to worry about data entry, processing exceptions, and paper or email approvals.

This frees them up to be more efficient during their workday and so your cost per invoice processing goes way down.

Decrease Turnaround Times

Another perk of switching to invoice scanning is that your turnaround times will get shorter.

When invoice approvals and payments take a long time, you may miss out on early payment savings or even incur late payment charges. Even without a monetary cost, you will certainly have unhappy vendors.

Invoice scanning software will dramatically lower your processing time. You'll get daily data capture and validation without any effort from your accounts payable team.

As a result, you get happy vendors and saying goodbye to late payments.  

Invoice Processing Software Saves You Money

Did you know that your current accounts payable process could be costing you from $15 to $35 to process each invoice?

Thankfully, invoice scanning software can save you money by automating the tasks we've already talked about. Also, automation means that you don't have to hire additional staff during peak season. 

Plus, by decreasing your paper volume and document storage, you also save money for your business. 

Better Visibility

In most accounts payable processes, the staff has very little control over incoming invoices. They don't have access to real-time data.

But with invoice scanning, you get instant access to invoices in one central location. This way you can better track and manage all your costs. 

Reduced Risk of Paper Records

Invoice scanning software protects you from the many risks associated with paper records.

For one thing, you will improve your security on your sensitive and confidential data. The result of leaked confidential information can be devastating for many organizations.

Using digital copies allows you to place authentications so only the right people have access to those records. Unlike a filing system, you can control who has access when you have digital records.

Resolve Vendor Disputes Quickly

Vendor disputes happen.

With digitized invoices and POs, and packing slips at your fingertips, your accounts payable department will be able to instantly resolve these disputes.

Also, having digital documents makes auditing easier because all the necessary information is all together in one convenient electronic location.

Bottom Line

There you have it! A list of the many benefits of choosing invoice scanning for your company. We hope you see how wise it is to make the switch. 

Ready to stop wasting up for 40% of your time sifting through paper files? Contact us today to learn how we can help.

streamline accounting with business process automation

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