“Accounts payable scanning is old technology,” is a popular refrain that comes up as we talk to organizations. They have issues with their accounts payable department, specifically getting invoices into the system. Although accounts payable scanning provides an alternative copy to paper, it does not truly help to document and store the vital data on the invoice. Once an organization realizes they have a solution, the question is what to do. This blog will focus on some of the pitfalls at looking at an accounts payable scanning solution.
Scanning is Not Digitization: An accounts payable scanning solution will often just be capturing an image of the invoice, not digitizing the invoice. There still needs to be additional steps to get the data from the invoice into the system.
Moving the Paper: Paper is often a sign of an inefficient process. The truth is, reducing paper invoices can save money. Processes built around scanning are often re-enforcing the continued use of paper and slowing down your data entry. We have talked to some prospects that are shipping containers of invoices to lower cost geographies solely for the tasks of scanning and entry paper documents.
Manual Effort: Accounts payable scanning still means manual effort is needed. There is the time consuming management around the handling of the documents, but also around the individual entry of the data. Most scanning solutions require extra steps to enter the data manually into a system.
Timeliness: Many organizations have busy times relating to seasonality or large projects. These extra invoices can mean a delay in getting the information into the system and visibility of these invoices. The fact that manual effort is needed means that these bottlenecks can often not be avoided. We have run into some organizations that can not take advantage of quick pay situations, even though they have the funds available, because they can’t process invoices fast enough.
Scalability: We wrote a blog recently about emailing invoices is not a scalable solution. The same goes for accounts payable scanning. This is because, increases in invoice volume means dealing with more hardware, people, or managing an outsourced relationship.
Approvals: One of the other big areas that gets overlooked by focus on the scanning, is the approval process. As an example, using OnePosting means that things like PO matching, approval limits, and routing can all be programmed in and automated. Relying on accounts payable scanning only, you may still have major process issues related to the approvals.
If you would like to understand how OnePosting can assist with digitizing invoices for your organization, book a meeting today with our team!