For all mid-large businesses, audits are a necessary and important financial health check, providing investors, managers, and customers with confidence about the business’s integrity, resilience, and commitment to compliance. Audits are well-known to be stressful and overwhelming experiences for accounting teams, yet technological advances, such as SAP invoice automation, can play an important part in making the process easier, especially where Accounts Payable (AP) is concerned!
The benefits of automated invoice processing are most often associated with streamlining Accounts Payable (AP) processes, improving accuracy, and shortening payment times. Yet an automated invoice system can significantly improve the audit experience in several ways:
A Dedicated and Focused Team
Manual invoice processing is notoriously time-consuming and error-prone, so it’s hardly a surprise that mistakes and duplications often occur, particularly when handling large volumes of invoices. Automating Accounts Payable invoice processing relieves staff of the burden of manual processing, freeing them up to carry out other tasks within the department, including preparing for an audit. As thorough preparation is the key to any successful audit, implementing automation can have a transformative effect on the efficiency of the team and the thoroughness of the groundwork.
Instant Access To Information
Automated invoice processing in SAP ensures that all the relevant data-checking, matching and workflow audit trails are recorded systematically. Extensive audit trails and supporting documents being attached to the SAP postings is manor from heaven when the auditors come looking. Having controls in place like this gives the organisation and auditors the confidence supplier liabilities are correct, and the right checks and balances are in place. Automating supplier statement reconciliation to enable high volumes of statements to be reconciled proactively is the icing on the cake for auditors, and again a factor in the confidence auditors will have in the supplier liabilities.
Decreased Risk of Fraud
Assessing risk is a key part of all financial audits. With automated invoice processing, robust security measures protect businesses from the risk of fraud, either from within or beyond the company. Eliminating manual AP processes improves fraud detection and severely restricts criminals’ ability to illegally obtain payments, while advanced permissions ensure that only those who need to access sensitive data can do so.
Reduced Audit Time
For an audit to pass smoothly and successfully, auditors need access to information quickly when requested. Automated AP gives auditors temporary permissions to enable them to view the financial documents they require, allowing Accounts Payable staff to get on with their work.
Fewer Financial Errors
A successful audit is more likely if a business’s financials are found to be accurate and error-free. Manual invoice management increases the likelihood of mistakes, such as incorrect data entries, duplications, and mismatched information. In comparison, an automated solution drastically reduces errors, so the audit is likely to conclude more quickly and with fewer concerns.
Audit History Visibility
An automated AP solution that features document management provides complete visibility into every transaction, such as when a decision was made, by whom, when, and why. Auditors will be able to view this information and gain an understanding of the decision-making and approvals hierarchy in the business.
Preparing For An Audit? Contact Cogent Consulting!
At Cogent Consulting, we’re specialists in implementing effective automated invoice processing solutions for SAP.
Our solutions give AP teams complete control and visibility of invoice management, ensuring efficient and rapid invoice capture, data checking, line item matching, and postings for purchase orders. For a free virtual site visit to see our AP automation solutions in action, please get in touch with Cogent Consulting today.
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