Unleashing AP with IPA

Unleashing AP with IPA

June 23, 2020

How to embrace intelligent process automation to accelerate AP

How to embrace intelligent process automation to accelerate AP

When you look at the kind of dedicated, detail-oriented, process-oriented, hard working person you typically find in an accounts payable role, it’s not so unusual to want to find better ways to take advantage of their time, talent and dedication that manually keying in information from a printed invoice, or fielding vendor phone calls/emails asking the same question over and over.

Keeping teams of these often talented but frequently underutilized employees feeling rewarded and satisfied can be a challenge—requiring a certain kind of leader.

The good news for both parties is that role of accounts payable, the mission of its managers and the vision of finance executives is rapidly evolving. That’s not just our opinion at Artsyl. It’s what respondents to a recent survey had to say to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC).

APQC’s survey results show that a majority of organizations (75%) are re-focusing finance leaders on process transformation, with the goal of empowering their teams to have more strategic impact.

One factor that is accelerating this transformation is the adoption of intelligent process automation solutions that simplify the implementation and ongoing maintenance of AP automation solutions and put the power in the hands of the process owner.

Intelligent Process Automation Fuels AP Automation

Nearly 3 in 4 organizations had financial process transformation projects in motion in 2019—potentially leaving the lagging 25% in the dust when it comes to process efficiency, control and competitiveness.

Those that continue to embrace the status quo have their excuses, according to the survey. Most cite budget concerns. Some blame a lack of technical resources. Other complain of a lack of executive sponsorship. Regardless if the reason, nearly all (93%) thought that AP automation would deliver an ROI quickly enough to justify the investment.

Overcoming the Status Quo

Overcoming the Status Quo

For accounts payable leaders who still struggle with manual processes, the silver lining is that making the business case for AP automation has never been easier. And the timing to adopt intelligent process automation for AP could be better, in terms of the priorities and objectives of financial leaders who are increasingly being asked to fill a more strategic role within their exec team.

The data, in terms of ROI, KPIs and benchmarks are easy to come by. The benefits are clear. To make the case effectively, all AP managers/financial leaders need to communicate is the value of:

  • Timely access to business data. AP automation ROI is typically calculated based on costs savings attributed to process efficiency and reduced error rates (which dramatically inflates per-invoice processing costs). Automating the extraction of data from paper and digital invoices and flowing that data to ERP/ECM systems instantly eliminates a tremendous data lag that can cloud g/l accruals and make it harder to manage cash effectively. Solving for this problem and creating greater predictability around cash flow can make a compelling case for change when ROI isn’t enough.
  • Scaling the business. Business growth can stress manual processes within a company. Even worse, it can inhibit growth by putting vendor/supplier relationships at risk, inflating costs due to increased errors rates if manual processes break down, and potentially create compliance risks. Justifying AP automation in a time of pending growth should be a no brainer.
  • Mitigating Compliance Risk. It bears repeating. Compliance risk is something companies want to avoid at all cost. Putting the whole enterprise at risk in order to save a few pennies just doesn’t make good business senses. AP automation can help financial executives sleep better at night by streamlining and taking the fear/risk out of audits. By digitizing the AP process, delivering more timely access to data and making everything visible within ERP or ECM systems, companies make audits go more smoothly and efficiently, while reducing fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Unleash Your AP Process with IPA

The best news of all is that automating and improving accounts payable by taking advantage of intelligent process automation has never been easier or more cost effective. As a result, you can give your finance leaders access to the data they need to do THEIR jobs more effectively, while empowering and elevating the role of your AP team to spend more time on value-added work like forecasting, budgeting and negotiating better vendor contracts.

Take the next step and contact your Artsyl Technologies representative. They can help you make the case and map out a path to a better future.

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