Acumatica Cloud ERP software finds application in many different verticals, and supports small and mid-sized companies to optimize their business management efforts. Its fully integrated suite of ERP applications help companies streamline Finance, Distribution, CRM, Project Management, eCommerce, Field Service, etc. Workability is at the core of any successful business application. With Acumatica, users have the benefit of customizing the solutions to meet their business requirements while enjoying all the advanced cloud ERP features the platform provides.
To further maximize usage of Acumatica, users can optimize the mission critical operations that help enter data into Acumatica. Accounts Payable operations are critical to the sound management of finances in any company. Part of sound management of all financial operations by Acumatica involve feeding it the right data from supporting documents. Operations in Acumatica Cloud ERP usually begin with some form of data entry work. Finance operations can be successfully implemented using the ERP software if the data entered into Acumatica is accurate. Reliable business operations in Acumatica are possible only if there is timely access to data from supporting documents.
An example would be accounts payable operations, the successful implementation of which depends on vendor invoice data entry to Acumatica. Many businesses still rely on manual paperwork to get critical data into Acumatica. When it comes to invoice processing, an AP staff member will have to sort, classify, and separate invoice documents and arrange them say, chronologically, before performing data entry to get all relevant and important information from the supporting documents into Acumatica. It is this data that will help initiate critical financial operations like accounts payable and payments reconciliation in Acumatica.
Manual invoice processing is time-consuming and laborious. Apart from the sorting, filing, and extensive data entry work needed to get all invoice details from each vendor invoice into Acumatica, another critical task that needs diligence is data validation. Data validation is what confirms the accuracy and authenticity of the data being entered into Acumatica. When it comes to paper vendor invoices, or invoices received in other formats from a variety of incoming channels like emails, fax, scan, file shares, MFPs, etc., gathering all the information and making sure each invoice items list matches a corresponding purchase order in a company’s transaction records; and validating other critical details like vendor information, payment status, arithmetic checks, and duplicate checks, etc. all require a lot of diligence on the part of the AP team.
Moreover, data validation involves a lot of back-and-forth and movement of paperwork between different departments and within the AP department itself. All these tasks can take up a lot of time and effort of the AP staff, not to mention the amount of delays and reprocessing work that are needed if a single data entry or data validation input is wrong.
Delayed data availability to Acumatica Cloud ERP means delayed processing of finances and reconciliations, resulting in growing debt for a company. Even with an established ERP system in place, many businesses fail to build-in efficiencies that help accelerate processes and business. That is because many of the mission critical document processing tasks that are needed to get data into Acumatica Cloud ERP, like invoice processing, are still done manually. What is needed is a system of automated document processing that will help bridge the gap in automation from the time an invoice or other transaction document enters an organization to when it can be safely entered into Acumatica. A cloud AP automation solution can help with this.
Cloud accounts payable automation helps build an automation platform from the edges of an organization to the Acumatica cloud ERP solution at the center. So, even though accounts payable operations are managed centrally at say, the head office, AP automation helps connect peripheral processes critical to every AP operation but happening at a remote location.
For instance, when an invoice is received by the AP department at say their site office, or through email, it is automatically uploaded into an AP automation platform, where it is processed and verified before being directly exported to the connected Acumatica Cloud ERP platform for further business use. Validated and verified invoices can be used to perform other financial operations like payment reconciliations and final ERP transaction creation for record keeping in Acumatica.
Cloud AP automation accelerates availability of vendor invoice data in Acumatica, enabling faster payments and debt reconciliations. Many accounts payable automation solutions come with intelligent process automation (IPA) technology. IPA is an advanced automation technology that is different from robotic process automation (RPA). RPA software is configured to perform standard, repetitive tasks through application of pre-defined logic. Basically, robotic process automation mimics human actions to perform tasks, creating a digital workforce in place of human labor. Laborious, repetitive, high volume operations, which were operated by human beings, can now be taken over by RPA bots, relieving humans of the drudgery of repetitive work.
But RPA has its limitations. Robotic automation works really well to execute standard tasks that are repetitive, which means the software is configured based on tasks that are predictable. The software falls short when it comes to new or unpredictable tasks. In this case, IPA is better suited. Intelligent automation assists with decision making, in addition to streamlining high volume operations.
Intelligent automation is essentially a combination of digital transformation technologies including business process automation, AI, machine learning, intelligent data capture, recognition software like OCR/ICR/OMR, along with RPA.
IPA is capable of solving challenging problems encountered during task execution that require some degree of human cognition and decision-making. An example would be the processing of vendor invoices. Standard invoice formats from regular vendors can be processed using pre-configured capture and process automation logic. But in the event the system encounters a new invoice type or format, from say a new vendor, for which there is not pre-configured document processing logic, the IPA bot relies on self-learning. Self-learning is a mechanism by which IPA bots employ cognitive technologies like AI and machine learning to ‘learn’ human actions on the job. When processing a new invoice, the system may not capture all of the details on an invoice as it has no built-in knowledge of the field placement on the document. In this case, a user may intervene to enter the missing details from the invoice the first time. The IPA bots ‘learn’ the human keystrokes that are performed and apply that learning the next time a similarly formatted invoice needs to be processed. This application of human cognition and decision making to execute tasks is more or less an imitation of human behaviour and actions done to execute work processes. Using AI in combination with RPA technology, IPA bots can perform more complex, document-intensive processes that require more than standard process automation logic.
AP automation solutions in the market that come with intelligent automation technology help Acumatica users expedite the most time-consuming, laborious, and complex document-intensive processes that slow down data availability to Acumatica.
By removing the inefficiencies and costs associated with manual, invoice processing work, cloud accounts payable automation software helps companies maximize their Acumatica usage to execute complex financials in a time-bound manner.