As its the high time for businesses – due to COVID 19 pandemic, processes that depend on people versus automation disrupts businesses significantly. Organizations experience a sudden transformation in operations while back-office processes such as human resources and accounts payable must quickly adapt to the change. Research shows that around 85% of businesses reported that automation could help run their operations smoothly. However, SMEs have faced challenges due to a lack of automation.
SMEs do not leverage AP automation
Most of the businesses have onboarded accounts payable software to run their AP operations smoothly. However, most SMEs still receive invoices in the paper while some rely on manual invoice data entry. Though most businesses are relying on paperless invoicing, around 55% of invoices are received manually. This is true for some invoices, such as utilities that are essential but are time-consuming.
Conventional AP process
In a world of technological advancement, running operations manually offer several disadvantages. Not automating processes can hurt an organization in the following ways:
Besides requiring a huge workforce, entering data manually would result in errors during transcription.
Lack of visibility
Inaccurate data makes it difficult for organizations to make critical decisions. It is not possible to monitor spending with inconsistent and erroneous data.
The cost of processing an invoice manually is $13, which is almost three times that of automation. The process also comes with additional costs to identify errors. Moreover, the biggest bottleneck is not receiving the invoice on time, resulting in late fees and cutoffs.
Automation the missing piece
With the high demand for SaaS solutions in the market, technology can help businesses of all sizes accelerate the AP process. Automating AP and invoice data enables employees to focus on other aspects of the business, expedite internal processes, and increase the number of invoices processed per day. Also, it improves workflow flexibility, and employees can manage payment processing from anywhere, anytime.
Beyond automating the approval process, you have to automate the invoice capture process as well. Manual invoice entry is the key pain point; choosing an accounts payable solution that offers advanced invoice capture could help get your job done quickly.
Non-PO invoices from gas, electric, water, and other providers have remained elusive. When leveraged automated AP solution with advanced invoice capture technology, it eliminates manual intervention, reduce costs, and minimize overall costs.
Automation Enables AP Continuity during high-time
When there is a disruption such as COVID-19, running accounts payable operations would result in costly errors due to changing business environment and staff shortages. With SMEs running AP processes manually, business continuation will be a challenge as certain operations may not be able to cope with sudden changes. For instance, sending invoices to an office email address may be processed late as employees are forced to work remotely in the crisis.
Technology can help organizations ensure business continuity besides streamlining the internal processes. The benefits of automating your processes go beyond savings; perhaps, automation can help support back-office functions. Also, accounts payable software can help businesses leverage early payment discounts and minimize late fee penalties.
Businesses can combat challenges by:
- Creating a plan that ensures your workflow processes run smoothly during the times of uncertainty.
- Cloud-based solutions enable teams to work remotely and ensure efficiency.
- Maintaining relationships with suppliers who can help with automated invoice capture and keep operations running smoothly.
Automation adds up efficiency
Automation can support business continuity compared to traditional processes that involve human intervention. Businesses that deploy cloud-based accounts payable solutions such as SutiAP can help manage operations remotely.