Among all the documents you process as a business, invoices are a critical category. Supplier invoices occupy a specific subcategory of documentation you use to record transactions, and — until recently — they have largely been processed manually. But paper-based processes, especially as they relate to your suppliers or vendors, are no longer sustainable in today’s digital environment. As your business moves to digital and cloud-based solutions, so must your supplier invoices, which is where automation comes in.
Automating your supplier invoices can reduce inefficiencies, improve operations, relieve your resources, and improve vendor relationships. Find out how by reading on:
Why Automate Your Supplier Invoices?
According to The 2021 State of AP Report, companies can spend up to $6.20 per invoice without automation. With automation, that number can drop to $2.81— a 45 percent decrease in costs. When you consider how many invoices you process and how often, this is a big chunk of change.
Not to mention how much you’re spending on labor to process invoices manually. Without automation, your employees are chasing down paper files, spending time storing them away in physical locations, or searching for invoices lost in paper stacks. With automation, they avoid all these tasks and improve productivity.
You’ll also see a reduction in the time employees need to spend on calls and buried in emails about items such as payment statuses. Automation ensures pristine data management of your invoices so check statuses are visible, workflows are clean, and your employees can provide answers in real-time without the phone tag.
Improve Employee Productivity
Manual vendor-based processes are one of the primary burdens of your accounts payable (AP) department. Time-consuming, tedious workflows take these employees away from higher-value work and mire them in repeatable tasks or fixing errors. Human-based mistakes can cause bottlenecks and inefficiencies. With automation, those repeatable tasks are the responsibility of software while your AP department gets to focus on more strategic work and improve vendor relationships.
Guaranteeing full compliance across your business is difficult in general with manual processes. However, if your invoicing, in particular, is still manual, your AP department will continue to bear a special compliance burden. When the COVID-19 pandemic spurred more remote work, AP had to handle even more risk management challenges, and manual invoicing provides no control or visibility into processes or issues. Automating your supplier invoices allows you to avoid fraud and security issues, track all invoice documentation, attribute changes and versions, and have transparent audit trails.
If your business is audited, you might be tasked with producing supplier invoice documentation. Software that automates your invoicing helps streamline the collection of invoices and keeps a neat trail of documentation that is easily retrievable.
Improve Supplier Relationships
When you automate supplier invoices, you are more likely to pay your suppliers on time, thereby cementing positive relationships with them. An automated solution won’t let you forget to pay an invoice or lose a document. Better yet, you remove the risk for human error with automated invoicing, so you won’t have to backtrack with a supplier to fix mistakes in payments.
You’ll also be able to provide your suppliers with a vendor portal through which they can submit transactions or questions, onboard themselves, and provide updates. This self-service tool will speed up transactions on both sides and provide visibility for you and your suppliers.
If you want to learn more about automating your supplier invoicing processes, reach out to All Star today.