Can Invoice Automation Improve the Accounts Payable Process?



Busy accounts payable (AP) departments often get bogged down trying to process supplier invoices manually. Due to the time-consuming nature of this process, it is often difficult to process enough invoices in the available time to guarantee reliable, on-time payments. Vendor invoice automation can improve the throughput and efficiency of invoice processing.


The recent Accounts Payable Automation Report from Business Insider revealed that AP automation can improve invoice processing efficiency by up to 73%, while decreasing the associated costs by 81%. How does invoice automation work for businesses that already use an ERP platform, such as SAP?

Data Capture/OCR and Automation

Invoice automation allows AP teams to process supplier invoices digitally, instead of fumbling around with manual uploads and data entry to get invoice data into SAP in the right format. Some invoice automation applications use optical character recognition (OCR) technology to capture invoice data, which can then be paired with relevant purchase orders using two and three way matching.

These details can be recorded accurately in your AP system, so staff members do not have to perform data entry and can process larger quantities of invoices. Real time reports provide KPI summaries, so you can quickly identify problems. Moreover, AP managers can leverage the power of automation to make their departments more transparent and productive.

Managing Invoice Automation

Suffice to say, automating your AP processes is a major project that will affect most people in your company. However, the benefits outweigh the initial disruption, effort, and investment. By working with an experienced AP support specialist, such as Cogent Consulting, invoice automation can be implemented quickly and efficiently. With invoice automation, you can ensure that suppliers are paid on time more consistently. This will improve your relationships with suppliers and may qualify you for early payment discounts. In addition, it will reduce fees for late payments and the inconvenience to your business when suppliers put you on stop.

The Transition From Manual Processes

Manual AP processes are rapidly being consigned to history across a growing number of companies. Shrewd businesses already realise that their teams become more efficient and productive when they automate the slow, repetitive elements of their daily operations.

Invoice automation software is quicker, more accurate, more user-friendly, and less expensive over the long term than manual processes. Contact Cogent Consulting today and start making AP automation technology work for you.

SAP Invoice Automation Guide - Cogent Consulting
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