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Process Automation Expert James Gibbons, Konica Minolta shares his thoughts.
Have you wondered what a streamlined Accounts Payable process could look like in your business? I bet you have many times. Have you imagined what it would really look like for you, your day, your team, your business, your suppliers and most importantly, your customers? Now here’s the important question – what have you done about making it a reality?
Well, if the answer is ‘not much’ or ‘I don’t know what to do’, then keep reading. It’s not a daunting task to take those all-important first steps. In no time at all, your Accounts Payable process can become more efficient – and your team’s workload will be reduced considerably, enabling them to focus on other business critical tasks.
But, someone has to take the initiative and lead the change? That ‘someone’ could be you.
With any change, of course, there is an element of fear. One of the main concerns I hear every day when discussing any form of Process Automation – especially within Accounts Payable – is fear of people losing jobs or their role in the company being diminished. But the truth is, that it is a misconception. Automating your AP Process doesn’t have to mean loss. It’s a simple change that will make all the difference. It will enhance the AP Process and underpin your finance system – not replace it. More importantly, it makes everyone’s working day better.
Yes, Process Automation will reduce the amount of manual input – but is that a bad thing? I would argue that it’s a good thing. In reality, it will free up your team from time-consuming tasks, allowing them to be more efficient and spend more time on detailed operations.
So, here’s ‘The Science Bit’ about AP Automation. Manual entry will be captured by using Intelligent Optical Character Recognition, it can then ensure that the information is correct by 3 way matching against Purchase Orders and Goods Received Notes. The solution can then route invoices to the correct authorisers for payment, all happening automatically, based on pre-determined rules. Now that’s what I call change. With the laborious, mind numbing task of data crunching taken care of, you, your team and your colleagues can focus on other tasks and on growing your business. Not only does this make your AP process more efficient, it promotes job satisfaction, and raises morale.
Once all the information is collected, automatically entered into your finance /ERP system and paid, Process Automation opens the door to intelligent, real time reporting. Having access to up to date reporting will give you better insight into your cash flow, identify potential problems before they occur and improve relationships with your suppliers. Management reports will be a few clicks away, so no more long hours working on putting reports together for your Board or Leadership team. Imagine how good that change will be!
So why wouldn’t you take your first steps to implementing a Best-in-Class Automated AP Solution? Get in touch if you would like to talk it over with me or one of our Automated AP Consultants and we’ll help you make it happen.