The Rethink: Simple ways technology can help your business evolve

 Kumar Gaurav Gupta,

Despite the advent of new technologies in business, companies from coast to coast are still processing expense reports, tracking travel and payments, digging through receipts, and chasing down details using handwritten records, spreadsheets, and email.

Automating invoice management, with the help of technology, can digitize the end-to-end processes, gain clearer visibility to manage cash flow more effectively, and access the Accounts Payable processes from anywhere. With the help of technology, organizations can use electronic invoice processing to drive efficiency, manage and approve invoices from anywhere, and immediately send requests to approvers via customized workflow to digitize paper invoices and standardize records. As per SAP Concur, 153,000 duplicate payments were prevented (monthly), 5 days average time from invoice capture to pay, $17B processed transactions monthly, and 1.85M invoices processed monthly. Optimising Accounts Payable will help the business thrive in the following ways:

Increase accuracy and streamline workflows:
The use of optical character recognition (OCR), machine learning, and human verification ensures the data pulled from invoices are correct and error-free. Invoice data of all types can also be stored in the digital filing cabinet for many years with permission-controlled access for company employees.

With pre-defined conditions (cost object coding, dollar thresholds, exceptions, match or mismatch, non-PO), solutions ensure optimal workflow and shorten data entry processing times. Automating the matching process to existing purchase orders helps involved parties focus on error analysis and decision-making.

Gain a greater view into cash flows:
Travel solutions offer a consistent, user-friendly experience for employees and holistic reporting of travel, expense, and Accounts Payable solutions for financial leaders in a single, integrated spend management platform. Organizations can track unsubmitted invoices and in-process approvals in real-time, matching them with automatic audit trails that help reduce bottlenecks and promote accountability. They use data for headcount planning strategies by giving AP leaders the insights to scale and reallocate resources as the business changes.

Facilitate reporting and audits:
Implementing pre-built and custom audit rules helps in enhancing internal controls within the invoice life cycle. Flag duplicate invoices, unapproved vendors, and missing coding requirements. Set custom flags to help prevent costly mistakes and mitigate potential fraud.Organizations can gain near real-time visibility into cash flow including pre-built reports (accrual, aging, vendor spend) and customizable reports that can be run automatically and sent directly to designated contacts.

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