8 Questions You Should Ask About Invoice Automation
The business managers and CFOs of today are expected to provide deeper insights and more strategic direction than ever before.
However, at the same, budgets and resources remain constrained so they are compelled to have to do more with less.
Implementing a Document Management Solution (DMS) should be an integral part of their strategy.
A good DMS can increase efficiency in areas such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and financial audits. These systems also integrate with accounting software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software thereby eliminating painstaking and manual data entry.
Many organisations still receive invoices in unstructured formats, like paper and email. Automating these manual processes saves time and reduces costs.
Founder and president of the Forbes CFO Leadership Council, Jack McCullough, states that adopting new technology is a vital asset for future-minded Organisations.
“Few, if any, investments can give an organisation a sustainable competitive advantage like an investment in technology. Where else can an organization invest that will increase top-line growth, operational efficiency, and employee collaboration?” he notes in CFO Priorities for 2021….And Beyond.
Before you take the leap, it’s important to consider these eight questions.
- Can you quickly and easily find invoices – I mean, actually find them? You can gain huge productivity benefits by providing your whole team with access to a centralised document pool. This repository includes invoices, delivery notes, purchase orders, and proposals. Find the exact document you’re after instantly. One document, one location, completely searchable, available anywhere on any device.
- Can you extract key details from invoices, including GL coding, and automatically match them to Purchase Orders? You can monitor the accounts payable email, extracting relevant data such as supplier name, date, amount, GST, indexing the invoice and applying artificial intelligence to the above process so the system learns over time, thus saving even more time for your staff.
- Can your staff review and approve invoices on any mobile device, anytime and anywhere? Providing instant, self-serve access to information speeds up processes and has a positive impact on the whole organisation.
- Do you have a secure, organised and searchable invoice archive and audit trail for audits and budget planning? Let’s face it, audits aren’t fun. They can be stressful and take up A LOT of your time. There is wasted effort in responding to auditor document requests – pulling paper documents, copying them and refiling the originals. With a DMS, you can give the auditor access to whatever information they require…without having to bug you for it!
- Do you process invoices promptly, keep track of due dates and status changes, and have control over your cash flow? Automation of the accounts department saves money. Organisations with manual invoicing processes usually lack the core information they need to effectively run their businesses. How many orders are waiting to be processed? Where are they in the process? What’s the total value of all current Purchase Orders?
- Have you standardised the workflows needed to accelerate the approval process? Organisations typically don’t realise how much wasted time and effort is involved in simply waiting for a manual process to move from one stage to the next. A DMS can use workflows to automate tedious but necessary processes.
- Can you route invoice approvals based on amounts, supplier name or split code billing with multi-levels? Automatic electronic workflows give an organisation the flexibility to keep work moving forward even when someone is away from the office.
- Can you automatically post approved invoices to your accounting or ERP system, eliminating double data entry and errors? Data should only ever be entered once, either manually or ideally via automated indexing, before being shared between systems. Integration enables streamlined workflows across a variety of business functions.
Once you have decided that a DMS is right for you, it is time to seek out an appropriate vendor.
When choosing a vendor, some of the key considerations should be:
- Whether the solution can be deployed via cloud or on-premises, without sacrificing functionality
- How quickly the solution can be deployed
- A reference list of customers for you to speak to
- If you can buy the solution as a monthly operational expense or require a large upfront investment
- If the solution be easily extended to other processes outside of finance, or is it just a point solution
While automating your finance department may start with the intent of reducing costs, the longer-term organisational impact provides an opportunity to redefine the role of the Business Manager or CFO.
Moving forward, whilst the Business Manager/CFO will continue to be the primary financial steward of the organisation, they also have a larger role to play, leading the charge for broader process transformation across the business.
Want to find out how you can do more with less?
Docuworx is Australia’s only Platinum Partner of world-leading DMS DocuWare.
In its latest release, DocuWare is giving you access to a pre-configured invoice processing solution. This will provide you with the unique opportunity to have certainty about the usefulness of a DMS before committing to your digital transformation project.
Drop me a line if you’re interested in finding out more.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0414 413 432