Accounts payable is thought of as a routine office chore but if done incorrectly, could cost companies in the hundreds and thousands in reprocessing costs, overpayments or delayed payments. A company’s standing in the marketplace is determined by how reliably it can repay its debt to the various stakeholders including vendors and partners. And prudent accounts payable (AP) practices help achieve that. While one cannot rule out fraudulent AP practices by staff, a majority of the mistakes made in accounts payable work is due to data input errors and inconsistent manual effort.
Good AP management leads to sound financial management, where a company is able to not just clear the books and reconcile the ledgers in a time bound manner, but also ensure optimal utilization of corporate funds. A good part of an AP staffer’s time and effort goes into processing vendor invoices, needed to execute payables and make payments to the vendor on time. Manual vendor invoice processing is time-consuming and costly. The risk with manual effort is that it almost always introduces errors into the accounts payable. A simple error while performing data entry to get the details from an invoice into a company spreadsheet can ruin the next steps in accounts payable operations. In fact, invoice data entry is the starting point of AP operations, where the next stages in invoicing, namely validation checks and approvals, can only be implemented correctly if the invoice data is correct in the first place. For companies dealing with hundreds and thousands of invoices on a regular basis, the risks of manual invoice processing work is too high. A single wrong data entry or even chances of missing paperwork can delay AP reconciliations and vendor payments from weeks to months. Added to that is the time it takes to validate each and every invoice.
“...While distribution companies can successfully implement complex financial processes using the NetSuite Cloud ERP application, they will still need to perform manual invoice processing to get AP transaction data into NetSuite. This manual effort to get transaction data into NetSuite is inefficient and slows down critical business operations in NetSuite…,what is needed is a solution that will bridge the gap in automation between when an invoice enters a business and when it can be reliably used in NetSuite...”
Invoice data validation may involve a lot of participants along the invoice processing chain including vendors, third-party suppliers, data entry clerks, purchasing managers, etc. A lack of proper coordination among AP staffers, poor communication, misunderstood correspondence, and absence of critical staff responsible for taking decisive action, etc. all contribute to delayed validation checks. The levels of due diligence, correspondence, and paper pushing that is required to process a single invoice shows how labor-intensive the whole system can be, and easily prone to being disconnected and mismanaged.
Technology, however, is an enabler and has helped companies streamline this document-intensive and labor-intensive process. Many distribution companies today are leveraging the powerful capabilities of NetSuite Cloud ERP solution to implement all kinds of business operations. NetSuite is a comprehensive business management suite for managing critical business functions including customer relationship management, finance, and e-commerce. NetSuite is helping companies gain visibility and have complete control of their finance and accounting operations. Its built-in flexible business models help users customize the applications to suit their diverse business requirements. In fact, companies are able to transform their wholesale distribution operations for the better using NetSuite Cloud ERP.
From managing finances to tracking inventory movements and fulfilling customer orders, NetSuite has become the goto solution for many forward-looking companies.
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However, data is a critical part of the successful implementation of the NetSuite suite of applications. In general, data initiates many of the business processes. Before a user can operate NetSuite to, say, reconcile payments, he/she needs to enter all data pertaining to the payment including any invoice details or related transaction information. This task is traditionally handled manually. Manual invoice processing is time-consuming, laborious, and error-prone. An AP clerk will have to perform data entry to get all the invoice details into a company spreadsheet, validate the details by cross-checking the line items against a corresponding purchase order list, check vendor details, confirm with an AP staff member to verify whether part of the payment has been made, and perform other data validation checks depending on business rules and requirements. While distribution companies can successfully implement complex financial processes using the NetSuite Cloud ERP application, they still will need to perform manual invoice processing to get AP transaction data into NetSuite. This manual effort to get transaction data into NetSuite is inefficient and slows down critical business operations in NetSuite.
Incorrect data entry and invoice processing can delay data availability to NetSuite. Distribution companies cannot afford to delay any mission critical processes that will slow down their business. This includes heavy document-intensive processes like accounts payable and sales order processing. What NetSuite users catering to the distribution sector need is a solution that will bridge the gap between when an invoice enters a business and when it can be reliably used in NetSuite.
Because many distribution companies rely on NetSuite to carry out all critical business functions, it is important that all transaction data supporting those functions are accurate. This means all transaction data needed to initiate a function in NetSuite must be accurate. And manual data entry and document processing is not the answer. There must be an automated platform solution to perform transaction document processing work. Artsyl’s intelligent process automation (IPA) platform does just that. Artsyl helps companies bridge the gap in automation between when an invoice is received to when it is entered in NetSuite Cloud ERP.
Artsyl’s intelligent automation solution utilizes digital transformation technologies including AI and machine learning to perform straight-through capture, extraction, validation, and verification of transaction data from invoices and related AP documents. The software is equipped to recognize new document formats and learn different document structures, replacing human effort with a more consistent, error-free processing. Cognitive technologies give Artsyl’s IPA bots the capability to perform intelligent document processing for any number of diverse document formats, from multiple incoming channels including emails, FTPs, MFPs, fax, scan, post, etc. Artsyl’s IPA solutions can be deployed both on-premise and in the cloud. The Artsyl Cloud is a cloud based AP automation solution that helps accelerate invoice data availability to the NetSuite Cloud ERP.
Advantages of Artsyl’s Intelligent Process Automation in Distribution
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