How Covid-19 Has Changed Accounts Payable & What You Can Do About It 



Like most aspects of business life, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on accounts payable (AP) processes. As we move out of lockdown, it’s more important than ever that AP teams devise workable solutions to their departmental needs, so that accounts payable can operate uninterrupted whenever ‘normal business practices’ are disrupted. What are the main problems AP teams have faced during the pandemic and what solutions can they implement to ensure accounts payable processes continue unimpeded?


AP Backlogs Cause Departmental Mayhem

Efficient accounts payable teams manage their workload so that exceptions are identified and resolved on a timely basis, that payments are made on time, and bottlenecks don’t occur in the system. However, ongoing periods of isolation as a result of the pandemic/pingdemic meant many AP teams experienced staff shortages, so an ongoing solution that avoids backlogs is essential to keep the department running smoothly and prevent the team from becoming overwhelmed.

An automated supplier invoice processing solution eliminates many of the manual processes involved with accounts payable, improving turnaround time and enabling AP staff to focus on resolving exceptions and queries.

AP Delays Affect The Supply Chain

Integrating invoice automation with an ERP system pre-empts payment problems with the supplier’s account and avoids disruptions to the supply chain caused by vendor stoppages and overdue payments.

An invoice automation or managed data capture solution can prevent these problems from occurring, by:

  • Ensuring all vendor invoices are processed on time and in the right format and uploaded to SAP.
  • Providing detailed analysis of on-hold transactions, so that valuable transactions can be approved more quickly.
  • Ensuring timely settlement of supplier accounts to keep the supply chain moving.

Manual AP Increases Human Error

Manual accounts payable is a laborious and time-consuming task at the best of times, which is made even worse during periods of pressure. Staff shortages, high volumes of supplier invoices, and remote working all increase the chance of human error.

Invoice automation is one of the most important changes you can undertake in accounts payable, massively increasing the output and accuracy of the department. Automation ensures that suppliers are reliably paid on time and efficiency is increased – allowing your AP team to handle larger volumes of invoices in less time – and ultimately saving your employer money.

Find Out More

Cogent Consulting are SAP invoice automation specialists, providing tailored solutions to businesses that need to process high volumes of invoices through their Accounts Payable departments. To find out more about our approach to SAP invoice automation, and the tools that can save you time and money, please claim a free copy of our SAP Invoice Automation Playbook today. We’d also like to invite you to book a free virtual site visit to open a window on our team in action – dealing with a range of processes, from data capture to posting in SAP.

SAP Invoice Automation Guide - Cogent Consulting

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