If you’re working in Accounts Payable at the moment, chances are your process looks something like this:
In its totality, this can be described as a traditional manual AP process. Despite it being the default, the process is widely considered to be inefficient because of mistakes that can draw out the process, and how long manual data-entry takes to complete and authorise.
Alternatively, the Accounts Payable process, with the addition of automation software, can look like this:
There are a myriad of process improvements you’ll notice when you automate, but these are the most significant:
The Institute of Finance and Management report that organisations who implement AP automation experience 80% faster invoice processing times. Ardent Partners had similar findings, seeing companies who automate cut their processing costs by 80%.
If you’re prone to late payments (don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there), you’ll be pleased to hear that Levvel Research concluded that AP automation software can reduce late fees by 82%, due to advanced control and visibility.
Originally, the cosmetics giant had an incredibly manual process. They would scan each individual supplier invoice and send them to approvers via email. Their volumes of invoices to be processed reached unmanageable levels, and they had no way of knowing where in the AP pipeline any given invoice was.
They decided that automating was the best way to bring their AP department under control.
Their chosen solution, Zahara, used OCR technology to read huge batches of invoices automatically, and provided users with a full audit trail so that every invoice can be tracked at each stage of its journey.
By making automation a part of their accounts payable process, Lush can now handle their 2000 supplier invoices per month with ease. They’ve also been accredited by HMRC as a Prompt Payer.
Every company is different, but Lush is a great example of how automating can truly optimise the AP function.