Many businesses still use old fashioned methods to manage their invoices, which increases paper consumption, requires high levels of photocopying and incurs higher postage costs. These outdated processes rely on manual data entry and can lead to an increase in the time and money spent making phone calls.
Cloud-based technologies are revolutionising the way we do business. They not only change the way we share information with colleagues and clients, but the cloud also helps us work collaboratively with teams in other offices or countries and facilitates remote printing and scanning.
But in addition to all these benefits, cloud-based automation of invoice processing is helping businesses streamline their processes, reduce high labour costs and mitigate the risks of data errors or delays in payment.
In fact, cloud-based technologies are becoming such an integral part of our business lives that Gartner anticipates that in 2020, 36% of enterprises will use the cloud for more than half of their transactional systems of record. This will include the growing trend of automated invoice management.
What is automated invoice management?
Automated invoice management uses a digital automation platform to manage your invoices from receiving them to paying and storing them. Whether you receive an invoice by post, email or fax, you can scan the invoice into your invoice automation software, which then converts the invoice’s scanned image into a text-researchable document.
Once this data is captured from the invoice it will then be automatically matched against the correct purchase order and the people involved in the approval workflow will be notified that the invoice is ready to be reviewed and approved.
Once approved, the invoice payment will then be made or scheduled to ensure it is received on time, helping to eliminate late invoice payments that can affect relationships with suppliers.
Why automate invoice processing?
Whether your business is small, medium-sized or enterprise level, there is a common challenge that businesses of all sizes face; managing invoice processing. While larger businesses may have a team in place to manage their invoice processing, it will still be time-consuming and costly.
And as with all processes that involve human intervention, there is the potential for error as everyone can make mistakes from time to time. Traditionally, invoice processing is a labour intensive and slow procedure, each invoice received has to be checked by payment on accounts, recorded on the company’s invoicing software and approved by a person in authority before the payment can even be made.
Then the invoice payment needs to be manually made or scheduled in their accounting software, cross-referenced and stored for future reference. It’s little wonder that many businesses, small and large, are seeking alternative ways to managing their invoice processing.
Automated invoice management can help streamline the invoicing process to help businesses run efficiently and ensure that bills are paid on time. Adopting a digital platform to automate invoice processing can help businesses overcome one of their biggest paperwork related headaches.
What are the benefits of automated invoice management?
There are many benefits of using automated invoice management and many are immediate owing to the fact that the implementation is quick and easy. Once the system is up and running it is simple to define clearer workflows and reduce the number of delays that can occur with traditional invoicing methods.
One of the biggest benefits of automated invoice management is the reduction in paper consumption. By taking a traditionally paper-heavy process and moving it to a digital platform, you can help your business dramatically reduce the amount of paper you use and take steps towards becoming paperless.
This is not only great for your business’ bottom line but is also great for the environment and can help you achieve your Corporate Social Responsibility targets.
Other business benefits of automated invoice management include:
- Improves efficiency and document workflow
- Eliminates manual data entry by capturing data from the original source
- Automatically extracts key information from invoices that can be imported into financial systems and used to generate reports
- Reduces the time spent on checking data and matching records
- Ensures the accuracy of data
- Mitigates errors in supplier payments such as late, duplicate or over payments
- Avoids missed payments that can damage supplier relationships and impact on your reputation
If your business processes large quantities of invoices each month, it may be worth considering whether implementing automated invoice management could benefit your business and help you reduce costs, take a step closer to becoming paperless and save time that can be spent on business-critical tasks.
We help organisations in Oxford, Reading, Abingdon and the surrounding areas ensure their offices are environmentally friendly and running as efficiently as possible. If you are interested to discover how we could help your business, please get in touch with us on 01235 555531 or complete our enquiry form and a member of the team will get back to you shortly.