The automation of accounts payable is not yet mainstream in the world of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Far from there! The accounts payable department is still very often seen as a simple cost that does not justify the expenses of purchasing, installing and maintaining software and hardware for automating the management of supplier invoices.
Yet it is easily demonstrable that paper and manual tasks have a negative impact on the department and the entire company. Think of the inefficiency of staff spending hours entering invoices, obtaining signatures for the payment agreement, or filing and researching invoices. To this must be added the risk of damaging its relationship with suppliers in the event of late payment or repeated errors. Going into automation means being able to enter invoices quickly and accurately, prioritize the best suppliers, and know what stage of the approval process invoices are at! The dream for any accounts payable department.
Therefore, why businesses are still so reluctant to source software that enables AP automation. The answer is linked to a series of myths and misconceptions surrounding the automation of accounts payable that are preventing companies from moving forward in adopting new practices.
The Myths of Accounts Payable Automation Automating Accounts Payable Doesn’t Necessarily Reduce Errors.
Perhaps you have started scanning your documents instead of entering them by hand. If you are using a system based on optical character recognition, you must have noticed that it allows many errors to pass. Indeed, they are not reliable. However, there are automation solutions that can extract data from your invoices without scanning or OCR, and with 100% accuracy, thanks to some unique data mapping capabilities.
My employees will be penalized by the automation of their tasks
On the contrary, they will say thank you! Automation allows you to eliminate the non-value added tasks your employees do each month. You will be able to free up staff and assign them to more important strategic priorities, because employees will only have to act in case of exceptions.
Getting an accounts payable automation software is a wasteful expense, with no return on investment possible
How much do you pay in penalties for late payments? Manually processing accounts payable quickly becomes unmanageable. Did you know that it takes up to 16 days for a typical accounts payable service to process an invoice? It is practically impossible to manage to pay within the deadlines demanded by your suppliers (often 30 days). By automating your accounts payable, you will be more proactive. You will surely get discounts by paying in advance. In addition, it can cost up to $ 17 to process each invoice, which can be drastically reduced if everything is automated!
You do not have to change all of your habits all at once. Take it one-step at a time and do not jump into a big project that you will not see the end of. Most businesses imagine that getting their accounts payable automation in place will be very time consuming. Before you want to achieve a perfect situation that requires a lot of commitment, start by changing one element at a time. For example, automate payment approvals or document validation. The rest will follow easily!
Finally, know that at Medius, we know that small and medium-sized companies cannot afford to overhaul all of their systems and processes as part of a single and colossal project! Most of the improvements we offer can be implemented gradually, with full flexibility.