At Yooz we communicate consistently about the benefits of AP automation, focusing on the true “dollars and sense” of automating and how roles of everyone from AP staff to CFOs will be freed to make more strategic decisions and do more value-added work.
In this blog series, we will take you back to the beginning and walk you through important points to consider as you decide to begin your AP automation journey, answering Why Change? Why Now? Why Yooz?
Part 1: Why Change?
Imagine an environment where buyers and sellers do business electronically, without any paper invoices. No more:
- Printing, stuffing, and mailing paper invoices;
- Opportunities for invoices to become lost or delayed in the mail;
- Guessing whether buyers received an invoice;
- Need for buyers to key invoice data;
- Tracking down invoice approvers;
- Physical routing of invoices or fowarding of emails;
- Back-and-forth emails and phone calls to resolve exceptions;
- General ledger coding;
- Need to input data on approved invoice into your ERP application;
- Filing of processed invoices in file cabinets and cardboard boxes.
Sound awesome, doesn't it? And should alone answer the question, "Why change?". But even with all of these benefits, electronic invoicing has made only marginal inroads in the United States. Why? And is it possible for finance departments to achieve full accounts payable (AP) automation regardless of how they receive invoices?
What is electronic invoicing?
It is not as obvious of a definition as you may think! Electronic invoices move from a supplier’s billing system to a buyer’s accounts payable system without requiring data entry. Paper invoices, faxes and e-mail attachments such as PDF documents and spreadsheets that are manually entered (and possibly scanned) are not electronic invoices and do require manual data entry. And electronic invoicing does support machine-based EDI and XML format invoices.
Paper and emails everywhere
Manual processes cause major headaches for accounts payable, including costly keying and paper shuffling, AP staff wasting a lot of time on low-value tasks, errors when matching invoices to POs, long approval cycles (late payments and missed discounts), lost invoices, lots of exceptions, fragmented systems, a lack of financial visibility, and many more.
Solving these pain points should be the reason that the thirty percent of accounts payable departments that still operate in a completely or mostly manual, paper-based environment should want to change to a fully electronic environment where invoices flow straight-through to an ERP without human operator intervention.
Why not change?
There are several reasons why some finance leaders may be reluctant to change. The unfounded but still widespread opinion that a stamped and signed paper document is more reliable than an electronic one, for one. The misconception that there must be a huge investment to automate, even if facts clearly show an almost immediate ROI is another that comes to mind.
The benefits changing to a complete end-to-end AP automation solution
It is no secret that the biggest benefits of automating—Why Change?—identified by AP departments are:
- Improved staff productivity;
- Reduced costs;
- Accelerated cycle times;
- Increased reporting and visibility;
- Streamlined compliance.
To know more about how digital transformation is affecting financial departments, read the e-book here.
Communicated by Yooz
Publié le 18 mai 2020