July 28, 2023
How would you rate your current accounts payable processes? With software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, invoice automation is within reach with smart processes, rapid implementation, and outcomes to help shift Finance from a transactional partner to a more strategic one.
Let’s look at the most common reasons organizations should prioritize AP automation as part of their financial transformation journey.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
When investing in new technology or implementing a new process, return on investment (ROI) can be a leading decision consideration. The initial cash outlay and organizational commitment to automate the AP process may seem daunting for stakeholders. However, a broader understanding of the process and financial benefits leads to the bigger picture of financial transformation.
According to 2023 research from Ardent Partners, the average cost to process a manual invoice is $10.18, a 10% increase from the prior year. With best-in-class AP Automation, organizations see this number drop to an all-in cost of $3.12, a nearly 70% decrease. With such significant savings, process optimization, and tangible and intangible benefits, the necessity to automate accounts payable is accelerated to succeed in a modern work environment.
The daily volume of operational tasks and competing projects can take priority given established deadlines and commitments. Project resource allocation, downtime, and training are essential parts of any system or process improvement, each of which includes an opportunity cost for every milestone.
While the processes of AP Automation can be complex in scope and function, the average time commitment for customer engagement, to effectively design and implement the future statement is minimal with a SaaS partner. Working in cooperation with your team to understand existing processes and future needs, an optimal solution bridges the gap with intelligent workflow, allowing your team to manage payables with more power and visibility than ever before.
WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER
Although your current accounts payable workflow may get the job done, productivity gains may be lost in a cycle filled with inaccuracies, long processing time, and higher costs for comfortability. Without automation, the cycle of busy work, late work, and rework remain at the expense of transparency in payables, supplier relationships, and employee experience. AP Automation virtually eliminates errors, eradicates rework, and assumes the busy work, freeing employees to take on more analytical and value-added projects, which leads to a more strategic view of payables. With a straight-through processing rate of 80% or greater, teams invest time in those exceptions that genuinely require attention.
A journey toward smart invoice validation and workflow automation may appear intimidating initially. With any notable changes in systems or processes, there can be challenges with adoption and implementation. However, the best automation solutions integrate seamlessly with measured improvements in accuracy, turnaround time, and total cost of ownership, therefore easily gaining the trust and buy-in for a successful transformation.