Complain, Kvetch, Whine or Moan: Let’s Hear your AP Challenges, Issues & Frustrations!
In many organisations, invoice processing is the single most paper-intensive, “high touch” manual activity remaining today. Even organisations that have largely automated their front office, operational and supply chain functions often still process invoices in a very manual manner.
So it’s not surprising that AP departments, operating under increased pressure, voice their challenges, issues and frustrations. Below are just a few we routinely hear prior to an automation project. Care to add anything?
- Invoice receipt – “We receive paperwork in many different sites. The first we know about the invoice is when we are being asked for payment”
- Keying – “Errors are being made with keying the invoice information into our Procurement system”
- Keying – “Getting invoice information into the system takes too long and we have to keep employing people just to keep up”
- Exceptions - “We get a lot of invoices that come in with suppliers not quoting the purchase order number or with other issues on the invoice”
- eInvoicing – “We must get more suppliers to send us invoices electronically – EDI, XML, PDF, CSV/Excel, PO Flip etc.”
- Approval – “The time it takes for us to approve invoices means we are always being chased by suppliers, and passing invoices around causes issues”
- Invoice storage – “Currently, we have some invoices stored here, others go off-site, it’s not cheap or easy to then retrieve and we do get lost/misplaced documents”
- Retrieval – “It takes too long for clerks and managers to retrieve invoices”
- Finance/ERP system – “It would be good to know how we can get even more from our Finance/ERP solution”
- Procurement system – “It would be good if people who are using the Procurement system could also see the image of the invoice”
- Auditability & control – “It is difficult to know where the invoice is in the process
Fortunately, invoice processing automation is one important initiative that can be undertaken as a series of small steps, and can generally be done without making any significant changes to your existing systems.