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Accounts Payable Can be Soul Crushing without Automation (Part One)

Accounts payables departments frequently need help with bottlenecks, data entry errors, and backloads in an incredibly high volume of work. With so many challenges in common, it makes sense why organizations often begin their digital transformation with accounts payable automation.

Repetitive Data Entry

The data stored on invoices, purchase orders, and other AP documents must often be keyed into a financial system to help manage resources. Typing this data manually can be incredibly time-consuming, taking even more time away from company-centric tasks. Moreover, manually inputting this data can be error-prone, leading to setbacks, mistracked information, and more time to remedy these mistakes.

Late and Missed Payments

With so much time spent on accounts payable-related processes and difficulty keeping track of the documents needed to complete them, payments to suppliers may be missed. Missing payments frequently results in additional fees and weakens your business relationships with vendors, potentially causing you to miss out on deals, early pay options, and other opportunities in the future.

Lost and Misplaced Documents

Packing slips, bills of lading purchase orders, and other AP-related documents must be safely filed to reference information later, whether for communicating data to a vendor, expensing job-related services, or another administrative task. Storing these documents as paper often results in a great deal of disorganization and countless hours sifting through cabinets to find the necessary information. Or worse, having to procure offsite records storage. Likewise, storing documents electronically leads to similar results as files must be labeled and misplaced. Invoices are especially prone to misplacement as they are typically printed out or emailed to a manager for approval. Once there, they are often forgotten and discarded, leading to a heavily bottlenecked approval process.

Time-Consuming Processes

Employees must often reference several documents to complete a single AP-related process. The three-way matching process, for example, ensures all parties receive what they agreed to and involves verifying and matching invoices, purchase orders, and packing slips. But when these documents are difficult to find due to cluttered file cabinets or disorganized shared drives, the processes that rely on them take much more time. Worse, this additional time is often taken from tasks that could benefit your business.

Do you find yourself having any of these issues in your AP department? Look for our next post in this series, and you’ll learn how deploying ECM systems such as Laserfiche can save time, money, and manual labor and make all supporting documentation or original paperwork easy to find!



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