Processing over 90000 inbound vendor invoices at a stretch without breaking a sweat! Who doesn’t want that for their business? Accounts payable automation is now a business necessity for many forward-looking companies. With out-of-the-box intelligence and tight API-level integration with many ERPs and business applications, AP automation brings companies the leverage to accelerate invoice processing and scale operations without adding to staff or operating costs. There are no side-effects to having an intelligent automation solution run your accounts payable operations.
As many of Artsyl’s client testimonials demonstrate, the returns from automating vendor invoice processing and accounts payable operations are cumulative and long-term. And with cloud computing being the norm in many businesses, especially in the past few months due to the pandemic and the ensuing social restrictions, it seems like having a cloud-based accounts payable automation solution is also going to be the norm rather than the exception.
Let’s understand why cloud accounts payable automation is important by looking at some of the figures from a recent Aberdeen survey on the growing importance and demand for cloud-based ERPs. The Aberdeen Report (March, 2018) makes a compelling case for the need for cloud-based ERPs to accelerate business and time-to-data for informed decision-making.
“...Unless it is a structured document like a spreadsheet, with data fitted neatly into rows and columns, constant document processing and data entry work to an ERP system usually requires a lot of manual effort and time… AP invoice processing automation done in the cloud, when integrated with a cloud ERP software like NetSuite or Acumatica, can definitely bridge the gap in automation between the point when a transaction document enters an organization to when it can be keyed into an ERP system…”
According to the report, the top reason for companies to switch to cloud-based ERP is to ensure full-fledged vendor support. By the same argument, a cloud AP automation platform will ensure early payments to vendors, and integration to a cloud ERP platform for end-to-end vendor support and payments. Another reason for companies already having an ERP platform in place to switch to the cloud is to leverage the latest technology for maximum advantage.
This trend can be seen among many best-in-class companies (Aberdeen, March 2018). Cloud technologies and cloud ERP platforms like NetSuite and Acumatica definitely bring the mobility businesses need, especially to combat disruptions like COVID-19 and ensure continuous productivity. Cloud can bridge technology gaps and enforce better integration — ERP software systems run on business data. This is often transaction data that we are talking about, and it usually comes in unstructured or semi-structured document formats.
Unless it is a structured document like a spreadsheet, with data fitted neatly into rows and columns or specific fields, constant document processing and data entry work to an ERP system usually requires a lot of manual effort and time. Manually transferring data from a structured document is also repetitive, and a waste of skilled staff, who could easily be working on something more productive that can have a positive impact on revenues and growth.
AP invoice processing automation done in the cloud, when integrated with a cloud ERP software like NetSuite or Acumatica, can definitely bridge the gap in automation between the point when a transaction document enters an organization to when it can be keyed into an ERP system. Like we mentioned before, cloud technology enforces better integration, helping make the transition of unstructured or semi-structured documents from the edges of an organization into structured, verified data that can be readily used in an ERP system effortlessly, with little to no human intervention.
The best way to stay current is by having in place a mechanism to adapt to new software without having to disturb underlying systems or processes. Cloud enables easy integrations without having to make significant infrastructure changes or replacements. Again, according to the Aberdeen Report, integration incompatibility was one of the top reasons cited by respondents for moving their business to the cloud. Updating computing resources to the latest release is also very easy with the cloud, and the report suggests that the Best-in-Class are only 9% likely to be three years or more behind the latest release, compared to 22% for the rest of them (Aberdeen, March 2018). Given these figures, it pays well for businesses to move their accounts payable operations to the cloud as well.
Artsyl’s cloud-hosted accounts payable automation solution, called Cloud, makes it convenient to work with AP business data from anywhere. The software employs digital transformation technologies like AI, machine learning, robotic process automation, intelligent data capture, and business process automation to drive straight-through AP document processing.
Straight-through processing means the software automatically captures invoices and related vendor documents from multiple channels like emails, fax, scan, MFPs, etc. and extracts data from them using machine learning technology. The extracted data and documents are each assigned a workflow based on business rules — workflow automation includes automatic data validation, document routing to verification managers for approvals, and export to a connected business application like a cloud ERP platform. The software has self-learning capabilities, which means that new documents are processed with minimum human intervention.
The benefits of having AP operations in the cloud are cumulative, as one company invested in the boat building business will tell you — Cobalt Boats upgraded to Artsyl’s cloud based AP automation solution, moving away from their manually-driven, error-prone processes that took a toll on their skilled staff as well as their operating costs. The company today is ready to scale operations and achieve end-to-end automation, while:
This is the kind of business transformation that companies need in order to stay current and adapt quickly to changing market conditions!