While invoice data capture is a mere fraction of automating your AP process, it is vital to AP department operations. Having accurate invoice data is the foundation for automating processes, improving reporting accuracy and hence reducing costs. The use of various formats and the inevitability of human errors are challenges that can be solved with AP automation. Consider the important role invoice data capture plays during the implementation of modern AP automation solutions.
Going Beyond Back-Office Functions
Once a back-office function, account payable is now a knowledge hub for pertinent finance data that impacts the C-suite agenda. Instead of focusing on routine transactions and manual process, the AP team provides relevant business intelligence. Accurate invoice data capture is a crucial aspect of the overall process to streamline the AP department operations and provide essential financial data that benefits the business.
The Elements of Quality Data
Maintaining accurate and detailed invoice information is a cornerstone to providing quality data that matters. Capturing each line item delivers measurable business value. With full spend transparency, the AP department can support the key information needed to optimize working capital and boost cash flow. Inaccurate data can lead to poor decisions that cost a company money. AP automation solutions help maintain the integrity of vendor data, from invoice data capture to the final payment.
Accounts Payable Automation Vs. Change Management
Companies may attempt to capture basic volume and price information in the order rather than the final invoice to try to gain spend transparency. A complete procure-to-pay implementation is a major project that requires change management. Detailed invoice information is accessible via AP automation, which requires a minimal transition and learning curve. Top AP automation solutions recognize various formats for submission, rather than trying to get busy vendors to follow a standard they might not want to think about. All of this reduces the learning curve and time it takes to implement AP automation rather than initiating a time-consuming change management program.
Visibility Into the Organization
Invoice data capture helps create visibility into an organization to determine company spend,, and the cost of indirect services and materials. Most of the invoices received by companies are still paper-based. Invoice management is a priority because manual data entry leads to inefficiency, errors, and missing invoices that cost a company money. The ideal technology provides detailed invoice information even when the invoices are sent in paper format. And modern AP cloud solutions also offer features such as automation and machine learning for invoice interpretation. Gaining visibility into the financial data helps the C-suite view where the organization can make changes and maximize its current resources.
Minimal Manual Effort
With AP automation, minimal manual effort is required to fulfill the data capture process. The standard steps include data capture and extraction, classification of documents, data validation, and reporting and analysis. AP automation solutions perform these tasks with the highest levels of speed and accuracy. Touchless processes give the AP team more time to seek money-saving opportunities, such as discounts for early payment, rather than performing routine tasks.
Invoice data capture plays an essential role in the overall implementation and maximization of AP automation solutions. When each step is considered, AP automation solutions provide the highest level of efficiency and key data to give the C-suite insight into the overall financial picture.