According to recent research, 96% of businesses are planning to grow, so the chances are you’re one of them.
The chances are also high that you’re struggling to find the time to focus on the necessary strategy and planning – typically, 60% of finance team time is spent on day-to-day tasks.
If that sounds familiar, our latest eBook is here to help. It’s called Tips to Streamline Your End-to-End AP Invoice Process and it shows you how intelligent automation and machine learning technology can free up time so you can focus on growth.
It explores the three phases of the AP process and examines how to streamline your processes. It also shows you how invoice automation helps you embrace best practice, get control of costs in the procure-to-pay (P2P) process and prepare your business for growth
Here are three areas where businesses can put extra focus to streamline end-to-end AP invoice management.
Improve the Invoice Receiving Process
Nearly half (46%) of finance leaders say errors and mistakes are the biggest challenge their team faces.
That’s hardly surprising when you consider the first step in any paper-based invoice process is to manually enter the details into your AP system. Not only that, it’s a system where invoices can easily get lost, there’s little visibility and fraud is a concern.
You can streamline the process by:
- Ensuring invoices all arrive in one central location so fewer invoices go missing.
- Encouraging suppliers to submit invoices electronically to an AP-specific email so you can reduce storage requirements.
- Implementing machine learning technology so you can put an end to manual data entry.
Improve the Invoice Approval Process
Between 20 and 30% of invoices result in exceptions in one form or another, which causes problems in a paper-based system. Plus, once an invoice has been sent for approval, you often have no idea where it is in the process. Worst of all, it’s very easy to miss errors, mismatches and duplications, leaving you at risk of duplicate payments and even fraud.
You can streamline the process by:
- Creating management workflows that resolve bottlenecks and set internal service level agreements so everyone knows you’ve got a KPI you want to meet.
- Implementing a PO system to improve your Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process and make it easier to spot fraudulent invoices, errors and mistakes.
- Getting a mobile app solution so invoices can be approved on-the-go in a moment.
- Optimising approvals by implementing different threshold levels depending on the value of the invoice to save time.
Improve the Invoice Payment Process
According to the UK government, £26.8 billion is owed to SMBs in late payments.
In a paper-based system, this means you’re likely to be regularly having difficult conversations with suppliers who are chasing late payments. You may also have the requirements of the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations (Duty to Report) to consider. And then there’s the lack of visibility and insight that makes it difficult to be proactive around cashflow or spot opportunities to negotiate discounts with regular suppliers.
You can improve the process by:
- Taking advantage of credit cards and digital payments to save administration time and earn cash back by paying bills on time.
- Gathering data for negotiations so you have the insight you need to make more strategic supplier decisions, improve your P2P process and free up working capital.
- Creating a supplier portal that puts suppliers in control, saving both you and them time.
- Streamlining payment through connected partners. For example, SAP Concur works with companies such as VATIT, Taxback International and TransferMate to enable VAT to be reclaimed automatically without any hassle.
Find Out More
For the full story and to start to explore the opportunities for your business download, Tips to Streamline Your End-to-End AP Invoice Process.