Improving Payable Processes: An Implementation Primer

Improving Payable Processes: An Implementation Primer

This is a sponsored post by Accusoft. For more information on sponsored contributions please email sponsor@finovate.com.

Accounts payable (AP) processes remain a sticking point for many organizations. Caught between the efficiency issues of paper-based solutions and the potential complexity of adopting technology-driven services, stagnation often results. Accusoft explores its top five tips to smooth out your system and reap the rewards.

Businesses now recognize the necessity of change, but many aren’t sure where to start. When it comes to new permutations of payable processes, a roadmap is invaluable. Here’s a look at five key forms completion and invoice processing improvements to help companies account for evolving AP expectations.

  1. Identifying errors

Staff remain the biggest source of AP errors. There’s no malice here; humans simply aren’t the ideal candidates for repetitive data entry. In this case, effective implementation of new processes depends on customizable software tools capable of accurately capturing forms data and learning over time to better identify and avoid common errors. The benefit? Staff are free to work on time-sensitive AP approval and reviews rather than double-checking basic forms data.

2. Improving invoice routes

Invoice routing is time-consuming and often confusing for AP staff. To avoid potential oversights, most companies use two to three approvers per invoice, creating multiple approval workflows. While the process reduces total error rates, it also introduces new complexity. What happens if invoice versions don’t match or approvers don’t agree on their figures? In the best-case scenario, your company needs extra time to process every invoice. Worst case? Double payment of AP invoices or payments result in missed critical deadlines. Here, a single-application approach to invoice processing helps improve invoice routes and reduce redundant approval steps.

3. Integrating data location

Where is your accounts payable data located? For many companies, there’s no easy answer; some invoices are paper, others are digitally stored on secure servers, and there are still more trapped in emails and messages across your organization. Instead of chasing down AP data, implement an invoice rehoming process. Solutions like Accusoft’s FormSuite for Invoices support thousands of invoice formats and keep them all in the same place.

4. Innovating at speed and scale

Complexity holds back many accounts payable programs. If new technologies complicate existing processes, employee error rates will go up and there’s a chance they’ll avoid digital deployments altogether in favor of familiar paper alternatives. In this case, automation is the key to implementation; speedy solutions capable of scanning paper forms, identifying key data, and then digitally converting this information at scale. 

5. Increasing visibility

You can’t fix what you can’t see. Paper-based invoice processing naturally frustrates visibility by making it difficult to find key documents and assess total financial liabilities. Integrated APIs that work with your existing accounts payable applications can help improve inherent visibility by creating a single source of AP data under the secure umbrella of your corporate IT infrastructure.

Want to learn more about the potential pathways available for companies to improve their AP processes and reduce total complexity? Check out Volume 1 of our Accounts Payable eGuide series, No Pain, No Gain?

Finovate Alumni News

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Around the web

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

FinDEVrNY16-V2(wdate)Our FinDEVr New York developer showcase is next week on March 29 & 30. Register today and we’ll see you in New York!

Developer news

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The latest from upcoming FinDEVr New York 2015 presenters:

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  • PayPal to enable money transfers to Cuba via its Xoom acquisition.
  • 3dcart merchants gain access to end-to-end payment processing courtesy of Braintree.
  • OnDeck partners with Innovate Finance to debut Transatlantic Policy Working Group.
  • Markit unveils new tax utility service.
  • Intuit Developer Group Drops Financial Data APIs; Partners with Finicity to Ease Transition.

Alumni updates:

  • Let’s Talk Payments lists SnoopWall and Entrust in its roundup of the hottest mobile security companies.
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Stay current on daily news from the fintech developer community! Follow FinDEVr on Twitter.

Finovate Alumni News

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On FinDEVr.com

  • Avalara teams up with WooCommerce to help online merchants manage sales taxes.

Around the web

  • OnDeck partners with Innovate Finance to debut Transatlantic Policy Working Group.
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  • The United Bank of Egypt upgrades to latest Misys core banking solutions as part of major modernization of retail, SME, and corporate businesses.
  • Top Image Systems launches next generation, automated accounts payable solution, eFLOW AP.
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  • Golden West CU processes 15 new applications for insurance products in first 30 days of deploying Larky.
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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.