Organisations remain under significant pressure to reign-in their spending while maximising efficiencies. It’s a challenge many are facing – how to improve operational efficiency without having to incur huge additional costs?
Accounts payable (A/P) teams are no different, as they look to improve A/P efficiency without having to invest in expensive and complex new IT systems. Julian Buck, managing director of document management and imaging company, Version One, provides the following ‘top tips’ to finance and A/P managers who are trying to ‘do more with less’.
1. Electronically image all supplier invoices
Invest in a document imaging solution that integrates into your accounting/enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. For a nominal outlay, this enables you to image all incoming supplier invoices. These imaged invoices can then be automatically linked to the appropriate transaction records in the accounting system. With document imaging, invoices will never get lost or mislaid again.
2. Automatically route invoices around the organisation for approval
Circulate the imaged invoices for electronic authorisation. This replaces the time-consuming and costly circulation of paper invoices for physical sign-off. Electronic document authorisation software will even manage the invoice approval process for you by automatically emailing the imaged invoices to the relevant people for their authorisation. As well as freeing-up the A/P team’s time, electronic document authorisation provides an accurate record of who has approved what and when.
3. Facilitate authorisation ‘on the move’
By harnessing mobile technology, managers can authorise invoices ‘on the move’ via their smart phones, further streamlining the invoice authorisation process.
4. Capture invoice data using OCR
Use optical character recognition (OCR) technology to reduce the manual data entry of invoice information by up to 80%. OCR automatically captures data from imaged invoices and verifies the data before it is uploaded to the accounting system. With less manual data entry, the A/P team can spend more time adding value.
5. Automatically email remittance advices
Don’t waste time and effort printing-out, enveloping and posting remittance advices. Instead, electronically email all remittances. This is both efficient and cost-effective. By investing in electronic document delivery software, remittances can be automatically emailed out as soon as payment is made, streamlining the A/P process while improving supplier relationships.
Finding ways to streamline A/P needn’t be a painful experience. During times of budgetary constraint, it’s important to find solutions, such as document management and imaging software, which can deliver significant cost and efficiency benefits for a nominal outlay.
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