ERP applications are the center of financial operations, yet most aren't optimized due to the accounts payable (AP) processes the flow into them being manual and paper-based. This causes incomplete/incorrect data being inputted into the ERP, as well as a staff that cannot access pertinent information for decision making and inquiries.
The Impact Of Paper-Based AP Processes
Paper-based processes are even harder on shared services centers, where operations are evolving to become even more complex. 20% of businesses have indicated that operating AP processes within a shared services organization is a major reason increasing complexities. An additional reason for the issues is due to the fact that almost 40% of businesses operate multiple ERP applications in one or more locations.
Businesses simply cannot afford for their shared services initiatives to be undermined by outdated, fragmented systems. Because of this, an increasing number of shared services organizations are beginning to automate their AP processes through enterprise content management solutions (ECM) that integrate fluidly with the business's ERP applications.
The Ways AP Automation Will Help You
Reduction of operational costs: This is achieved through the elimination of manual data entry via digitally validating invoices with the ERP. Additionally, costs can be reduced with less printing, shipping and storage of paper, and spending less on ERP licensing/training for end-users.
Visibility Enhancement: This allows for retrieval of invoices, vendor contracts, and goods receipts directly from your ERP. Additionally, it provides insight into all stages of the AP process--all the way from receipt approval, validation and posting to monitoring progress, reassigning tasks, and identifying areas for improvement.
Increased Flexibility: Simplify creating/adjusting workflows in order to achieve complex business requirements, give approval rights to non-ERP users without having to provide direct access, and support/connect a multitude of ERP apps with one single ECM platform.
Quicker Cycle Times: End-to-end automation is possible through the captivation of invoice data ASAP with quick ERP integration. Additionally, provide the ability for buyers and managers to approve, research and/or reject invoices no matter where they are at anytime, and ensure that invoices always arrive at the proper place while also enforcing control policies.