Relying solely on paper is a dangerous game for any business to play. For accountants especially, a paper invoice system can introduce numerous hazards and put the company’s reputation on the line. Marketing professional Chris Rauen recently wrote on Accounting Today that more companies are looking at tools like data entry automation, and document scanning to no longer have to rely on paper and to avoid the invoice errors that often happen with manual entry. One big area this can help improve is the elimination of invoice errors that often plague this industry.
Once this kind of program is properly set up, companies will see smarter invoice processing that will “drive productivity through the roof,” according to Rauen.
Shared Services Link, a website for financial industry professionals, said improved accounts payable systems positively impact profitability, citing a recent report which found that inefficiencies can be costly for organizations with a clear need for paper automation.
“Electronic invoices play a key role in this,” the website said. “They not only move faster than paper invoices but also provide a more complete audit trail all the way from the initial purchase order placed by the procurement department. This drastically cuts down on the time an AP clerk would spend on both internal and supplier inquiries before being able to process the invoice. Furthermore, with the rapid processing of their invoices, suppliers are able to give the valuable early-payment discounts that still so often remain out of reach to many companies.”
As long as procurement and accounts payable departments remain siloed, invoicing cannot be fully automated, Shared Services Link said. Before adopting an automated data capture system, companies should be sure they are properly organized internally.