Accounts Payable doesn't need to be viewed as only a cost center. In fact, there are some easy changes that can save significant financial and labor resources, and help the organization's bottom line. Effective Document Management is certainly one of them, but these changes are critical to helping further drive the value:
- Leverage Electronic Payments instead of Paper Checks - Many vendors provide Routing and Transit Numbers on their invoices to allow for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payments of Invoices. With the ever increasing cost of postage, not to mention toner, paper, and time, why not save the stamp and submit payments electronically instead?
- Request PDF Invoice Copies from Vendors - For many companies, EDI still accounts for only a small portion of the invoices processed on a regular basis. Until that changes, why not request that vendors submit PDF Copies of invoices instead of Paper Invoices? It will save time spent opening and copying invoices, and will provide a high-quality, clear source document to work from when processing approvals.
- Eliminate Manual Data Entry - The Single Greatest Expense in the AP Process is the cost of Manual Data Entry. The time spent by employees keying data into the ERP System from Paper Invoices prevents them from performing other critical tasks and focusing on vendor and process management. Software can now perform much of this data entry via OCR, and save up to 90% of the Labor typically associated with Invoice Processing.
- Reduce Errors and Duplicate Payments - It's hard to get anyone to focus on their task when it's 4:55 on the Friday before Memorial Data Weekend. When it's invoices that are being processed, that extra "Zero" can make a big difference, and result in overpayments that need to be resolved. Why not let software perform the data entry and ensure that the right number of zero's are tagged on every invoice? Unlike People, Software doesn't need coffee breaks, either.
- Tighten The Processing Timeline - Early Payment Discounts can be seized, and Late Payment Penalties can be avoided when clear control of the Invoice Approval Lifecycle is implemented right from the moment an invoice is received. Using Electronic Workflow tools, users can review and approve invoices from a web browser, avoiding lost or misfiled invoices, and helping the company to improve spend management. This lets the company capture the discounts and avoid penalties, which is essential to effective AP management.