The benefits of switching from a manual accounts payable process to an automated one are no secret. Numerous studies have highlighted the boost AP automation can have to efficiency, data accuracy and data security. But when choosing the right AP invoice automation provider, there are some important factors to consider.
The reasons for switching to an automated AP system are understandable: with manual systems simple errors often go unnoticed; there are concerns over invoice fraud; and concern over the costs with running such a slow system. So, there is a relatively small selection of features that an AP invoice automation solution should have to make it fully worthwhile.
However, no two businesses operate in precisely the same way, which means some companies need specific features from an automated AP service. It is, therefore, just as important that the right AP automation service provider is chosen.
But what must you look out for when making your decision? What are the key points that finance managers should consider when making such an important investment? And what kind of features that an AP invoice automation system should deliver to really make the return worthwhile?
The testimonials a prospective AP invoice automation provider has will tell you a lot about their experience, but you should also ask them to share case studies for greater detail on how their solutions have solved problems for clients. All companies seek to project the best image of themselves, so don’t forget to follow through. Contact those who provided testimonials and check the case studies.
As mentioned, no two businesses operate in precisely the same way, so it is important that your AP invoice automation provider recognise what is unique about your operation. Understanding your processes helps to ensure the new system compliments existing processes. So, they should be willing to sit down and discuss your unique business case.
Since elements like cost, time efficiency and improved productivity are critical in these times, it is only natural that the projected Return On Investment (ROI) should be a key factor in choosing your AP automation solution provider. So, don’t hesitate to ask prospective providers to show the kind of ROI their system can expect to deliver and how to measure it.
When considering AP automation options, most companies have a short basic ‘must-have’ list, including being easy to use, time-saving and cost-saving. In Kefron’s own AP Automation Buyer’s Guide, we list a total of 11 features you should look for, but here are 6 of the most significant.
AP automation systems have to be able to configure to established AP processes, not disrupt them. So verification, matching and approval processes should be accommodated.
It’s important that any automated system be able to upload invoices in whatever form they come. A ‘drag and drop’ feature allows for the easiest uploading of electronic invoices.
Little errors are synonymous with manual invoice processes, so it’s essential AP automation guarantees complete accuracy.
Reconciling invoices with purchase orders is essential, but it’s tedious. Having a 2 or 3-way matching capability, and recognising both PO and Non-PO invoices, makes the reconciliation process quick, saving time and costs.
An effective AP invoice automation solution needs to be able to handle Multiple Data Fields, Multiple Business Rules, Multiple Entities and Multiple Currencies. This includes multiple General Ledgers, analysis codes, and unique data identifiers.
An AP automation solution with a Supplier Portal allows suppliers stay up to date without having to request and await confirmation. They can even upload new invoices themselves, freeing up your personnel to focus on more pressing tasks.
To learn more about Innovative Invoice Automation Technology, click here.