Where’s Your Accounts Payable Workflow Pain?
January 20, 2015
After numerous round table discussions with our clients regarding user experience and team meetings about the mission and priorities of Beanworks, we zeroed in on one particularly insistent theme circling around the concept of accounts payable workflow and invoice processing activities: Pain.
More specifically, our prospects are wondering how an AP automation solution can improve and refine their workflow. “There has to be a better way” is a common statement. And, our job is to come up with a solution to alleviate that pain simply and effectively — and to help prevent it from ever coming back.
So, Where Does It Hurt?
When we’re brought in to help automate the accounts payable workflow process, we always ask customers to first identify their pain points. In other words, we ask them, “Where in the AP process does it hurt the most?” The responses are enlightening and usually lead to a self-diagnosis of specific areas where inefficiencies continue to plague the entire workflow.
This practice of identifying pain points and reviewing major workflow and invoice processes has led us to determine 5 extremely common accounts payable problem areas that revolve mainly around the following themes:
1. What To Do With Inbound Vendor Invoices
Whether they come in by snail mail, fax, or email, this is normally where the AP and invoicing chaos starts.
2. Overwhelming Data Entry
Too many invoices, numerous management approval processes, and not enough time and resources can lead to a backlog of invoices that may or may not get entered into the system correctly.
3. Multiple Approvals and Invoice Re-Routing
Cue the waiting game! Waiting on others to approve invoices that slide across their already backlogged desks, sweating over invoices issued by respected vendors that don’t get paid on time, and missing out on early payment incentives – sound familiar?
Polite inquiries on payment and questions revolving around the timing of payment delivery are never fun to field – especially when the vendor you’re dealing with is a valued one.
5. Proper Document Management
An organized system of archiving, reporting, and document management is one of the best ways to eliminate AP workflow pain. Having an online accounts payable solution that documents and organizes everything according to your proscribed specifications makes digging through cabinets for audit reports and spending hours looking for a specific invoice from what’s-his-name issued 5 years ago a thing of the past.
Improving The Health Of Your Accounts Payable Workflow Is Easier Than You Think
You now have a tentative diagnosis for what’s really ailing your accounting and finance department:
- Overwhelmed staff, inefficient AP workflow processes, and limited resources paving the way for increased human error.
- An excessive cost per invoice each time said invoice is physically handled.
- Approvers, project managers, C-Level management, budgetary advisors, and distant office locations holding up the invoice approval process.
So, before you let yourself get overwhelmed, remember that the treatment is simple: Adopting a workflow automation solution that improves your processes and is accessible anytime any where is your first step better AP workflow health. Pain relief is well on its way.
Learn more about how Beanworks can help you improve the health of your accounts payable workflow — Request a demo today!
Beyond Manual Data Entry – How AI is Giving Accountants More Time Back
The latest addition to this AI-backed feature-set is a tool called Line Item Capture, which further simplifies invoice data entry by extracting line item information, such as descriptions, unit costs, and quantities with 99%+ accuracy.
How To Perform a Health Check On Your Accounts Payable
Research has found that following up on invoices is a lengthy process, which can take up to 20% of a typical AP clerk’s time. Calculating exactly how much time your business spends on approvals can help you identify bottlenecks slowing you down.
How To Choose The Right Payment Method For Your Business
There are now many different payment methods to choose from. How do you find the one which is best for your company?
Straight To Your Inbox
Stay up-to-date on top accounting and finance trends
Sign up for our newsletter and receive our latest resources, news and insights.
Learn More About Beanworks
Discover how AP automation can free your accounting team from manual data entry, delays, and paper-based processes.