The vast majority of Accounts Payable (AP) invoices are still processed by routing paper invoices throughout the organization or scanning and attaching the electronic invoice to an email which is then routed around the organization. Once complete, users in AP then manually key information from the approved paper invoice or email into an automated system to then process and pay. Time wasted on paper-driven and manual costs such as data entry, moving invoices from desk to desk, filing, retrieving, faxing, copying, mailing and looking for papers that have been misfiled or lost typically represents more than half of the cost of invoice processing and significantly decreases productivity levels.
Hidden costs associated with manual processes can really add up—and because they are not easy to determine, their damaging effects may be underestimated in current processing workflows. These hidden costs most often lurk in a manual processing environment, where the same invoice may be handled multiple times, even before an approval decision is made. In addition to contributing to escalating labor costs, this increases the chances of missing favorable payment terms due to lengthy processing cycles.
Automating the entire process can be a key challenge for finance departments, but if done well it can improve overall accuracy, speed, efficiency, control and visibility of operations, while optimizing the company’s biggest asset: cash. With the visibility that automation brings into invoice and payment data, controllers can analyze and understand expenditure, perform budget variance analysis, and spot possible fraudulent behavior.
PayStream Advisors research reveals the average cost of manually processing an invoice can be as high as $20, versus $4 for automated invoice processing. The average cost of processing an invoice in an environment with no automation or low levels of automation can be up to 20 times greater than the cost of processing in a fully automated environment. The payback period for investment in invoice and AP automation is short, ranging from 6-18 months on average. A proven problem with proven solutions, AP process automation is a low-risk investment.
With All Star’s AP Automation solution, invoices are captured at the source – fax, paper, email attachments, EDI –data is extracted and validated and the invoice and clean data is delivered to the appropriate people for review, approval and coding. Users quickly access invoices and supporting content and make decisions from the applications and devices they work in every day. Workflows automatically route invoices to appropriate business units/departments for coding (Non-PO), can auto code based on predefined preferences or past coding for specific line items, perform two- or three-way matching (PO) and route invoices to the appropriate users for approval based on the table of authorizations or the user(s) involved in the original requisition. All along the way, users and vendors can be notified of invoices in process or invoices that have been approved or rejected. Additionally, solutions like this can span multiple systems each of which performs a specific function in the grand scheme of procure to pay. With analytics, All Star’s solution will provide a single interactive user interface that can provide all of the metrics pertaining to an invoice from the time the invoice was received to the time the invoice was paid. This single user interface eliminates management from having to learn multiple products to find data and eliminates the need for custom reports to be written which in the end only provide a static view of information at one point in time.
The All Star AP Invoice solution can integrate with any line-of-business or ERP system (SAP, Oracle eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft, Lawson, JD Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics, Infor, Workday). This integration will enhance your existing software investment in ERP and infrastructure and will guarantee accountability throughout your organization.
The immediate and ongoing results of this type of solution are…
- Capture and normalize incoming information no matter the source – paper, email, attachments, fax, EDI and XML
- Elimination of 80% to 95% of data entry
- Automate the approval and exception processing of various invoice types (PO, non-PO, expense, contract/recurring, etc.)
- Promote straight-through “touchless” processing
- Eliminate up to 90% of the processing time for each invoice
- Real time and interactive analytics pertaining to bottlenecks, invoices that get paid without being approved, accuracy of the system and productivity of the users
- Retrieval of documents within seconds
- Eliminate supplier inquires with a self-service portal
- Increase bottom line savings through the use of Dynamic Discounting
Expense Report Processing
Processing expense reports is often an unpleasant task for the employee who has to submit receipts and supporting documents and for management who has to approve the submitted expense reports. However, a well-organized system can make this process more efficient for both management and employee.
T&E costs, second only to payroll as the largest business expense, are becoming increasingly more difficult to control as companies expand across borders and grow through acquisitions. Effective budgeting, planning, and management of travel and entertainment expenses is crucial for companies of all sizes.
An Expense Report Automation solution can help all organizations to…
- Reduce processing and auditing costs by automating the expense management process
- Enforce internal policies and reduce costs with negotiated corporate travel rates
- Reduce the cost of every expense report transaction by up to 80%
- Reduce the reimbursement cycle time by 70%
- Increase employee productivity and satisfaction
- Reduce risk levels posed by non-compliance
- Eliminate lost documents and denied reimbursements
- Eliminate the postage fees usually involved in mailing expense reports
- Provide flexible retrieval of expense receipts inside and outside of the expense report system
As your company grows, expense reporting becomes more of a burden. The appropriate software can streamline this process. An Expense Report Automation solution can significantly reduce transaction costs and improve management control when logging, calculating and processing corporate expenses.
Independent research evaluating the use of automated expense report systems has confirmed that the cost of processing an expense claim is reduced as the level of automation increases. PayStream Advisors reports that in 2015, the average cost per expense report was $26.63—quite high, especially when compared to the average cost of $6.85 per report with a fully automated Travel Expense Management solution. These costs place heavy burdens on organizations processing hundreds of thousands of expense reports each year. As The Aberdeen Group has reported in their research, analytics is key in expense management visibility, providing intelligence into business travel ROI and understanding how this category effects greater business objectives.
All Star’s Expense Report Automation solution provides the ability to create, code, approve and report on expense reports that are in process or completed. This not only decreases processing costs, but can also enable an organization to have greater management control, bring visibility to expense spend and improve adherence to corporate policy.
All Star’s solution also offers mobile functionality, allowing business travelers and executives to participate in key expense management processes as well as expense receipt capture via smartphones or tablet devices. This means a constant approval chain for approvers, which leads to quicker reimbursements for employees and earlier access to reporting for administrators.
If you already have an Expense Report Automation solution, All Star’s Expense Report Receipt Capture solution captures and connects expense receipts to your existing expense report system (SAP Travel and Expense Management, Oracle iExpense, PeopleSoft Enterprise Expenses, Lawson Expense Management, JD Edwards Expense Management, etc.). This allows approvers to view all the receipts throughout the workflow process and at any time in the future.