Yet, AP process standardization and automation are within the grasp of most organizations and have been for some time. Standardization 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 circa. 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 their ERP systems and 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, specialized accounts payable solutions can take over, for example, the heavy lifting of invoice coding and invoice matching with receipt of goods and purchase orders are digitally managed. All of this, underpinned by collaborative technologies in the cloud, enables optimization of workloads between different members of staff and the quick resolution of errant transactions that cannot be processed right the 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, organizations 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 working from home or some hybrid position of the two. But the crucial point is that the choice sits much more easily in those organizations that have invested in AP process standardization and digital automation.