Why 2022 is The Year to End Manual Data Entry
January 5, 2022
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Navigating the challenges of a crisis is stressful on its own. Surviving it as an accountant using traditional tools may seem challenging — but it doesn’t have to be.
Even a few years ago, the idea of making accounting a touchless experience would have sounded impossible — just like working remotely at a global scale. Yet, here we are, attending meetings in pajamas, and paying vendors without signing paper checks.
Now that we’ve transitioned to remote work, accountants are happier to allow data entry to be automated, accelerating the pace of digitization in finance. With less time spent on this manual routine, finance teams can reinvest their focus into higher-value work, such as reporting or forecasting. To help them accomplish this, accounts payable (AP) automation leader Beanworks developed artificial intelligence (AI) to further enhance its existing data capture functionality.
“I have been handling the payables for our company for almost 30 years and over that time our managers and company controllers have been asking for line item descriptions. We have never been able to do so as we didn’t have the time to keypunch them in. It would double my workload.”
— Harry Ryan, Accounting Technician, Murphy Hospitality Group
Data entry has been one of the top pain points for finance professionals. Most pre-pandemic accounting departments were not set up to accommodate a remote work environment, leading to confusion and haphazard fixes to AP processes that have resulted in frequent errors. In fact, 88% of finance professionals say most errors in payments are caused by manual data entry.
Manual data entry and coding was one of the top three pain points for finance professionals in 2021
AI-powered data extraction
Beanworks’ SmartCapture feature benefits companies by eliminating the error-prone manual intervention in the AP process. Line item details are already auto-populated by the time the user sees the invoice transaction in the software. Combined with artificial intelligence, this functionality delivers 99%+ accuracy while reducing the time spent on data entry by 83%. The feature captures header information, vendor name, line item details such as description, unit costs, and quantities. It also extracts invoice details such as amount, due date, invoice date etc.
“To have this feature is a dream come true. The company owners are much happier now they can see what was purchased in GL reports.” – Harry Ryan, Accounting Technician, Murphy Hospitality Group
Data entry: manual vs automated
AP professionals relying on manual accounting face many challenges, such as receiving invoices in various formats like hard copies, emails, word documents, pdfs, etc. This makes data entry time-consuming, prone to errors and relegated to physical spaces. Without cloud access, businesses also risk miscommunication with vendors and employees. Remote work has further added to this complexity. This is why 83% of 600 finance professionals in North America say AP automation is their top priority.
As more offices transition to remote and hybrid work, finance teams are turning to technology that empowers their team to do more in less time. Automated invoice capture helps to reduce back-office costs by minimizing manual data entry. It also decreases the risk of errors when processing invoices, allowing for quicker turnaround with approvals and vendor payments. With data centralized in one platform, you can conduct regular internal audits and simply share software access with the auditor during the annual review.
“Before Beanworks, our AP clerk was spending 30-40% of their time doing data entry and keying in invoices. The whole process was time-consuming and Beanworks has eliminated a lot of that. We’re saving at least 50% of our time in accounts payable.” – Dean Olevson, Director of Finance, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
Go beyond automated data entry
With Beanworks AP automation, organizations get more than just stress-free data entry. Its 360-degree approach gives you the tools to process all AP workflows in the cloud. From purchase orders and invoices to digital payments and expense management, everything is controlled through a central platform.
Ready to take off with automated data capture?
Accounts Payable Trends That Will Shape 2022
Moving forward, managing supplier relationships and streamlining AP operations will be key to protecting the supply chain. Automation of the AP process provides tools that facilitate faster payment, such as custom approval workflows for invoices and the ability for payments to be released either individually or in batches.
An Accountant’s Guide to AP Automation
One of the primary problems that accounts payable teams face is that they get stuck playing the waiting game when it comes to approvals. According to Levvel research, 37% of AP employees faced challenges getting invoices signed off on time due to remote work over the last year.
Why Organizations Can’t Afford to Ignore the Demand for Digital Payments
44% of finance professionals revealed that finding a way to make electronic payments is a top priority for their team. Organizations that have implemented digital payment methods are realizing efficiency and cost benefits, as well as improved vendor relations.
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