There are four elements necessary for AP success: Visibility, Collaboration, Control and Automation
It is a key factor in putting AP departments in prime position to be more successful, and gives an overall view of operations and establish standards on which to base strategies for performance improvement.
According to the 2019 reports by both Ardent Partners: The state of ePayables and Everest Group's: Your Complete Guide to Accounts Payable Transformation; lack of visibility was listed as a top challenge and pressure for AP teams.
The benefits of visibility trickle down to not only the AP team, but also other internal employees and external vendors1:
- The AP team can easily track and monitor the progress and real-time status of invoices, reducing delays in processing and approvals
- Employees can check the status of expense claims, reducing the need for assistance from AP team members
- Vendors can monitor the status of invoices, reducing the number of questions and inquiries sent to the AP team
Better visibility also enables the AP team to add more value to the organisation and play a more strategic role by2:
- Supplying data and information that helps high-level executives with financial forecasting and budgeting
- Providing insight into cash flow analysis
- Identifying potential fraud and compliance violations
Cross-functional coordination among key stakeholders, such as accounts payable, procurement, finance, treasury and suppliers, creates an environment where key information flows easily between these stakeholders.Research shows that improved collaboration with procurement and suppliers is a top priority of AP teams in 2019. 49% of those surveyed in Ardent Partner’s State of ePayables 2019 report said that improved collaboration with key stakeholders is a requirement for elevating the performance of their AP department to the next level.2
Audit controls ensure that AP transactions are processed in a way that complies with policies, procedures and regulations. They help reduce late payment fees, capture negotiated discounts and early payment discounts, eliminate duplicate invoice payments, and prevent fraudulent payments.Research has found the exception rates in top performing firms are 57% lower than other enterprises.2
Intelligent automation is critical to lowering costs and streamlining each of the four AP sub-processes: invoice receipt, approval and inquiry, validation and reconciliation and settlements. Technology solutions used to manage invoices and workflow and electronic payment methods reduce the inefficiency of manual and paper-based processes.
1 Everest Group Research. Your Complete Guide to Accounts Payable Transformation
2 Ardent Partners. The State of ePayables 2019: Driving Value in the Age of Intelligence
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About Xcellerate IT
With over 22 years of knowledge and experience in Business Process Automation, Xcellerate IT is a leading Australian provider of powerful digital transformation software, providing innovative solutions to transform and automate information intensive business workflow and robotic processes, across both back and front office operations.
We are proud to have completed projects for over 100 Australian customers. These projects have assisted our customers to embrace the future by offering compliant, transparent and structured processes that meet their individual needs. Xcellerate IT's solutions have powered corporations across various industries including manufacturing, finance, local and state government, education, healthcare and a wide range of companies.
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