AP Automation Software: Why Companies Should Process Invoices Digitally
Digitization in companies is becoming increasingly important and is being driven significantly by digital invoice processing and the use of e-invoices. But what are the specific benefits of ap automation software, and why should companies jump on this bandwagon?
Automating procurement processes is about more than automating time-consuming workflows. Instead, it involves the entire company and its strategy. A study by Bitkom shows that around 21% of the SMEs and mid-sized companies surveyed have already automated individual work steps, and a further 22% are planning to do so. The main focus is on implementing automated workflow management systems for approval processes.
However, the benefits of Invoice Processing go beyond the mere automation of processes. Efficient digital invoice processing contributes to optimizing and realizing corporate and procurement goals and supports digital transformation. It enables companies to save time and money, improve data quality and accuracy, and reduce human error. To further increase the efficiency of digital invoice processing, companies should consider digitizing all paper-based processes and ensuring seamless integration of systems.
The advantages of automated invoice processing at a glance:
- productivity increases
- cost reductions
- reduced error rate
- location independence
- higher data security
- environmental sustainability
Concrete advantages of digital invoice processing
Companies that take the leap into the digital world and focus on integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning will be more successful long-term and secure a decisive advantage over the competition. Robotic accounting and intelligent algorithms open up numerous opportunities for automating and optimizing processes, quickly evaluating and processing data, and reducing errors and costs. Companies that do not open up to these potentials and do not take measures for digitalization and artificial intelligence risk falling behind the competition and losing marketability. Therefore, they must take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitization to optimize their processes and secure the following benefits.
The introduction of Invoice Processing leads to significant productivity increases by reducing processing times, which is achieved thanks to automated workflows. It enables quick processing of invoices, saving time and resources. Eliminating manual tasks, such as capturing and matching invoices, significantly speeds up the process. Invoices can be processed in tandem, which is not possible with traditional, paper-based processes. Digital systems enable automated processing through Robotic Accounting without human intervention so that release or approval by employees is only required in rare cases.
By automating invoice processing and freeing up dedicated capacity, accounts payable professionals can focus on other important business activities. Reducing repetitive and time-consuming processes frees up more time for strategic tasks that ensure the company’s long-term success. Accounts payable can thus exploit all strategic potential previously impossible due to time-consuming and paper-intensive processes.
A central objective of procurement is to reduce costs. This is achieved primarily through systematic supplier management and greater transparency in the procurement process. However, digital invoice processing is equally important, as automation streamlines the invoice process. This reduces personnel expenses: employees hand over the repetitive tasks so that they are fully automated. In contrast, the employee himself can strategically schedule his freed-up time. In addition, parallel processing of invoices becomes possible, so less time is required here. The result is savings in personnel costs with simultaneous increases in productivity.
In addition, digital invoice processing software offers many functions that influence the optimization and simplification of processes. These include a reminder function that keeps accounts payable staff updated on which invoices are due and when. Timely payments and possible cash discounts lead to further cost savings.
Automated invoice processing can thus reduce or avoid costs in the form of personnel expenses, reminder fees, or interest. The greater the degree of automation, the higher the cost savings!
Costs by degree of automation: Low ↓ High
Costs by degree of automation:
As manual steps are reduced, so are the number of errors in processing. Human activity is highly prone to errors, such as typos, inaccurate estimates, and duplicate payments, especially when the overview is missing. Digital invoice processing offers the opportunity to avoid this: Through automation, invoices are digitally captured, reconciled, and approved, leaving no room for error. Invoice processing can be further secured with the help of a final payment check. Another layer of security can be added to check invoices by software before payment. Using this final functionality, invoices are reviewed and, if necessary, corrected to provide a central overview of the process and ensure the accuracy of the invoices. Double payments and errors in the settlement of invoices are avoided, resulting in cost reductions and a reduced workload.
Digital invoice processing enables a constant and transparent overview of the entire invoice process. Digital systems allow all invoices to be stored and managed in one central location. This allows companies to keep track of their finances and create transparency more easily. The ability to store and manage all invoices in one place makes it much easier to search for and review them. This again helps to avoid errors and save time.
The ease of communication between involved parties within the system is also an important factor for systematic transparency. The result: an efficient work process and increased quality of work!
In addition, digital invoice processing provides a constant overview of the status of invoices to be informed and track processing. Employees can always see which step the invoice has reached and quickly take action to ensure smooth processing. This avoids delays and ensures an efficient invoice process.
Digital tools enhance scalability, as automated processes can quickly adapt to the increasing number of invoices and growing demands. Standardized processes enable more efficient and faster processing without additional staff; this scalability can help companies better manage their costs and resources and respond more quickly to growth opportunities and changes in the business environment. Invoice Processing offers companies the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
With the digitization of procurement and accounting processes, accounts payable become location-independent. The possibility of mobile procurement offers limitless functionalities – from the purchase order to the release and goods receipt process. This function allows the procurement process to be carried out easily on a smartphone and makes it independent of any location. This also includes Invoice Processing, which can be carried out in the same way via holistic procurement apps in a mobile and decentralized manner. As a result, accounts payable tasks can be performed on the go, allowing employees to work on the move or from home, resulting in greater flexibility and higher productivity.
Location independence also helps companies improve collaboration by allowing employees from different locations to work on a common system. Processes will be completed faster and more efficiently, streamlining workflows and providing the best possible support for employees, no matter where or when.
Higher data security
Digital invoice processing systems offer greater security over physical documents because data can be encrypted and stored in the cloud. This reduces the rate of errors in data capture and processing while also reducing the risk of data loss and leakage. Digital workflows can enhance security by restricting access to sensitive information and monitoring its utilization by authorized users. Encryption technologies and other security measures also ensure that data is protected during transmission and storage. Automated invoice processing thus contributes to greater data security through digitization, which is important for companies of all sizes and industries.
Traditional paper invoice processing generates large amounts of waste and creates a significant environmental footprint. The legal requirement to retain invoices also presents companies with the problem of finding storage space and room for invoices from the last ten years. Switching to digital processing helps to drastically reduce paper consumption, allowing automation of the process to contribute to environmental protection as well. Invoice processing, therefore, not only offers numerous environmental benefits that add to a company’s competitiveness and economic success but also helps it to act more sustainably.
Invoice Processing for your company
Successfully transitioning to digital processes can be a challenge for any business. However, companies will inevitably move towards digitalization to remain competitive. This move towards digitalization is no longer an option but a matter of when it will be implemented. Invoice processing offers an excellent opportunity to digitize procurement activities and introduce automated processes. The numerous benefits include productivity gains, better scalability, and increased security. Companies that do not open up to these potentials will increasingly fall behind the competition and lose marketability.
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