Yet, AP process standardisation and automation are within the grasp of most organisations and have been for some time. Standardisation is a matter of policy, process and technology. Although most industries can generate electronic invoices, many suppliers still submit paper versions – for context, of the c.6 million invoices processed through Proactis’ technology
annually, around 28% are paper. For less automated and agile AP functions, this puts a strain on their operations due to the manual processing required to get them into ERP systems ready for approval – which is why it is so important to have an agile AP model which can efficiently handle 100% of invoice formats and process them into a digital format.
Once invoices are in the system, specialised accounts payable solutions can take on, for example, the heavy lifting of invoice coding and invoice matching with goods received notes and purchase orders. All of this, underpinned by collaborative technologies in the cloud, enables optimisation of workloads between different members of staff and the quick resolution of errant transactions that cannot be processed right first time. The approval and sequence of cash payments then becomes a vital tool in the effort to manage supplier relationships fairly, without compromising liquidity.
With the benefit of hindsight and with the exceptional Coronavirus experiences under our belts, organisations that have invested in modern, collaborative AP processes in the cloud, now have the choice about how they wish to deploy in the future. Some may choose to go back to office-bound working while others may choose to support home-working or some hybrid position of the two. But the crucial point is that the choice sits much more easily in those organisations that have invested in AP process standardisation and digital automation.
Find out how Next Generation AP is agile