In March of 2020, Covid-19 forced many organizations based in Europe and North America to have AP work remotely. Most companies were not set-up to have the AP team work remotely and it forced them to manage through Covid-19.
Organizations will have an ERP or financial system that does most of the finance heavy lifting. The challenge is some of the processes that sit outside of the system can still be very manual in nature. One of the big areas to explore is how the AP team gets the invoices into the system and approved. Here are a few things to consider as you look to help your AP team work remotely.
Technology: When considering putting a solution in place to help AP work remotely technology must come into play. The accounts payable invoice solution you implement must be able to communicate with your ERP or Financial system. Solutions that need less help from IT can be implemented more quickly than those that heavily rely on you IT team.
Costs: Many ERP’s and financial systems have modules for AP. Often these solutions can be cost prohibitive. A third part solution, like OnePosting, that can easily connect to their financial systems could be much more affordable.
Digitizing invoices: For many organizations there is a great amount of data entry to get invoices from a paper form into a digital form. This is a huge issue for an AP team trying to work remotely. Someone has to get the paper based invoices from the post as well as handling the paper. Digitizing the invoice without human interaction is the solution. This means getting the invoices processed in a timely manner.
Reducing errors: The two biggest errors that an AP team can face when adding information is manual error and mistakes by your suppliers. An accounts payable invoice solution can eliminate those manual errors. When a supplier does send an invoice with a mistake, like missing a PO #, the system can let your supplier know there is an error and have them correct it. This will often mean the issue is dealt with quickly and with less effort from the AP team.
Fraud: In 2018, invoice fraud was estimated to be £93m in the UK. Using an AP invoice software can help get rid of those issues by looking for incorrect information, new suppliers, and even in some cases, invoices submitted from a new IP address.
Approving invoices: Many organizations today still have a physical process to sign-off on invoices. It was inefficient before the days of physical distancing and it is even more challenging now. Look for a solution that could allow for digitally distributed approval based on ownership of the project, size of the invoice, as well as building in multiple levels of approval if needed. You may even be able to automatically approve an invoice based on PO, price and quantity matching, and dollar amount.
If you would like to understand how OnePosting can help AP work remotely, book a meeting with one of our team members.