How Automation is Changing the Face of Accounts Payable

Do you know how much it is costing you to process a supplier invoice?  Would you like for that process to be less complex?  I have the opportunity to speak to a lot of CFOs, Controllers and AP Managers. In these conversations there is a common theme: they are aware that their manual or semi-manual process is cumbersome, but they are not aware of how much it is costing them. Imagine, there’s the overwhelming piles of paper on top of the desks, the never-ending calls from suppliers asking when they’re getting paid, the slow review of invoices, etc. It seems impossible to run an efficient accounts payable department with all of these hurdles.  However, it does not have to be that way. There are tools that can streamline these processes, and bring cost savings to boot.  A solid AP automation program includes electronic invoicing, invoice matching, workflows, invoice and PO dashboards. All of these are designed to improve efficiencies, particularly in companies that process more than 3,000 invoices per month.

But don't just take my word for it. Experts like PayStream Advisors, Aberdeen Associates and others have estimated the cost to process an invoice manually falls between $10-20. Studies by AFP and Bank of America have estimated a cost of $3 per paper check issued, further highlighting the need for automation. Additionally, when speaking of time to approve, Aberdeen Group considers "best in class" AP performance to be an average of 4.1 days to process an invoice from receipt through approval for payment, with the bottom 30% taking more than four times that long. Aside from hard costs and inefficiencies, what else is driving CFOs and Controllers on the need for AP improvement?

1) Lack of visibility into invoices and AP documents. It can be frustrating to field calls from suppliers looking to get paid, and not being able to access their situation quickly.

2) Corporate directives to lower costs. CFOs are under tremendous pressures to eliminate unnecessary spending, and AP process is an easy place to find cost savings. Keeping manual records also creates an enormous amount of paper over time that needs to be stored and filed accordingly for safe record keeping, whereas digital record-keeping keeps this information stored safely and securely, and at your fingertips.

How can you resolve this? One solution is TradeRocket's AP Automation service.  It offers solutions that can streamline the process and reduce cost without the hassle of lengthy implementation times. We take invoices submitted by vendors and process them through our platform, so all invoices look the same to you, and you have full visibility and control through our user-friendly dashboards. Once they are processed, invoices are matched with both purchase order and receiving documents for approval, and with our Workflows feature you even have the ability to create a process that allows the information to flow from one user to another. The best part? Typical implementation is only about 60-90 days – significantly less than the average 12-18 months. Plus, there’s little IT involvement since TradeRocket’s platform is in the cloud and very easy to use. All this allows us to lower your supplier invoices approval process costs to just a few dollars per invoice.  Whether you’re looking to inject efficiency into your accounts payable, or need access to working capital from our marketplace of funders, our passion is helping companies modernize the finance department without changing your process.

 

Albert Assad
Vice President of Business Development