Hands-off Approach: The Benefits of AP automation
You’re probably not familiar with the American futurist Roy Charles Amara, but you’ve most likely heard of Amara’s Law. It states: "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."
Accounts Payable Automation: Welcome to Teamwork 2.0
What does all this mean? Simply put, don’t fear the robots!
There’s a lot to be excited about accounts payable automation. Managing your AP workflow with a platform such as Yooz that offers touchless, or straight-through processing offers a whole list of immediate and mid-term benefits. They accrue to everyone involved, from the immediate AP staff to management to your partners and suppliers who become part of a dynamic business network with instant visibility and transparency.
Think of AP automation this way: You get to hand off all the repetitive, menial, low-value tasks to an intelligent system while humans - whether they are in the office or working remotely - have their hands and heads free to focus on the tasks they’re really good at and can add value.
How Touchless Invoice Processing Works
What exactly do we mean by touchless invoice processing? It’s really teamwork 2.0, bringing together all the strengths of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) plus Machine Learning (ML) on the one side and human ingenuity and spontaneous problem-solving skills on the other.
Software captures and reads all invoices, gets the data entry right, indexes every word and amount, and makes sure invoices are matched to purchase orders before they are routed to the right people for approval. All this is happening fast and securely in the cloud, with as little human intervention as possible.
Humans, for their part, free up their precious time for the tougher nuts to crack: reviewing exceptions, dealing with more complex vendor inquiries, optimizing cash management, and managing your company’s relationships with important vendors. Today, AP staff still spend more than a third of their time on dealing with vendor inquiries. A simple and elegant solution like a self-service portal for vendors in the cloud could answer most questions.
The Top 10 Advantages of Touchless Invoice Processing
1. No more errors: Less mistakes translate into fewer duplicate payments or fraud attempts.
2. Reduced cost: Processing costs per invoice drop by 80%.
3. Faster cycles: Times shrink to days or even hours.
4. Quick start: Able to implement with minimum onboarding
5. Accessibility: Can be used from anywhere, anytime including on mobile devices.
6. Early payment discounts: No more late fees or missed early-pay discounts.
7. Drives value: A traditional cost-center in the back office quickly becomes a value driver.
8. Happier employees: Job satisfaction jumps since tearing open envelopes and keying in numbers is no longer required.
9. Improved audit and compliance: A live archive in the cloud creates a fully and reliable
10. Real-time data: Real-time financial intelligence turns out to be a brilliant by-product of AP automation.
Keep Live Data at Your Fingertips With AP Automation
The last advantage - real-time data - benefits the entire organization. Decision making takes on a whole new meaning when a smart, secure and scalable platform handles the AP workflow from purchase to payment. Automation lets us keep data at our fingertips and ask questions from a live library of invoice data as they pop up with an interface that’s as simple and intuitive as performing a web search. That means answers with just a few clicks.
Unleashing that type of curiosity will keep your AP team engaged and committed. Letting the creative juices flow and unlocking your staff’s hunger for innovating is a key advantage to attract and retain talent in times of frequent job switching and staffing shortages.
It’s exactly this kind of long-term effect of technology like touchless invoice processing we should keep our eyes on. Robots will help us humans become more productive and efficient, and we’re just getting started!