Although the automated invoice data capture process is just a small part of accounts payable transformation, it plays a critical role in transforming the AP department operations. It helps you effectively manage the crucial data of paper invoices and allows you to have clear visibility into the company’s spend.
Over the past decade, most businesses overlooked the accounts payable processes considering it as a back-office function. Today, the majority of the organizations are giving more importance to the AP processes as it is the knowledge center for making business-critical decisions that impact the CFO agenda. However, to become a credible hub for intelligence, you should have access to accurate business data. Hence, invoice data capture is crucial to improve your organization’s accounts payable operations.
To analyze the real business value, you should have access to the detailed invoice data, i.e., each line-item data of the invoice have to be captured. Whatever be the invoice format you are receiving; you should be capable of capturing the whole data of the invoice accurately. When you have access to detailed invoice data, you can have complete visibility into the company’s spend and other critical information that is required to improve cash liquidity and optimize working capital.
The Way You Capture Invoice Data is the foundation for spend transparency.
Businesses should capture data in order to gain visibility across the processes and to understand what the AP team is buying, how much it costs to the organization and from which vendors the employees are buying products, and more. For getting accurate data, they are trying to capture the information on the Purchase Orders (POs) rather than the invoices. This process is very cumbersome if the company’s primary objective is to gain complete visibility into the data.
Even today, many businesses are relying on paper invoice-based processes. According to the latest research report, manual data entry, lost paper invoices, and inefficient processes are the top three challenges for effective invoice management. Firms should think about adopting advanced solutions to automate accounts payable processes. They should analyze various available solutions and purchase a software solution that helps get detailed invoice data even if the invoices are in paper format. A few advanced solutions include OCR technology that automatically captures crucial data of the paper invoices and stores the data securely on a cloud platform.
Consider purchasing the software that has the data capture solution within the account payable workflow. With the integrated solution, you can avoid training AP teams on dual systems. It also helps you keep an unbroken audit trail from invoice receipt to post in the ERP system. You should also make sure that you reap all business, technical and financial benefits of adopting the right AP cloud solutions such as KPIs for benchmarking capabilities and machine learning for invoice interpretation.
The Future of Invoice Data Capture with Machine Learning
The evolution of advanced technologies like machine learning and AI will bring further transformation in the invoice management process. Industry experts say the machine learning-based accounts payable solutions will completely change the process of data capture in the next couple of years. We can also expect functionality for coding non-PO invoices, improving performance indicators, identifying suppliers with GL and spend categories, and more. As invoice frauds are on the rise, vendors may include new fraud detection algorithms in the accounts payable software solutions to helps businesses prevent fraud.
The Bottom Line
In today’s business infrastructure, the accounts payable department has become a knowledge center for analyzing the company’s spend information. The accurate invoice data helps businesses make better decisions that will reduce processing times, increase efficiency, and adds value to the organization. So, if you are still managing your AP processes with manual processes, purchase advanced accounts payable software solution that automatically captures invoice data and helps you make payments to the vendor accurately, on-time. Research your existing data capture and invoice management processes and analyze what features you need to improve those. Accordingly, compare various available solutions and purchase the accounts payable software that best fits your business.