How enterprise content management can eliminate paper to increase AP efficiency, access, and visibility

As competition increases, organizational leaders are asking all departments to play a more strategic role in driving growth and controlling  costs. Accounts Payable is no exception.

But AP teams are already under pressure to do more with less. Invoice volumes have increased, while at the same time, invoice processing is expected to grow more complex.

To support strategic goals, AP departments need to over three main obstacles: Lost Efficiency, Limited Access, and Poor Visibility.

Lost Efficiency

Organizations have increasingly relied on technology to improve operations, but for many AP departments, invoice and payment processing remain manual and paper-intensive. AP teams spend countless hours manually keying in and sorting invoice and payment data from multiple documents and sources. Even when an AP department is using a technology solution to manage processes, frequent changes in staffing, vendors, or invoice approval limits can still bring work to a halt – especially when IT resources are required to modify the solution to meet the change.

Limited Access

Globalization has increased the growth of mobile office workers. When invoice approvals are required from mobile employees, but they cannot access the relevant documents and information from cloud-based or remote networks, it can cause significant delays in invoice processing. Over the next several years, the number of remote consultants, field professionals, and other mobile workers will proliferate. Many AP organizations are already looking for ways to meet this impending challenge.

Poor Visibility

You can’t measure what you can’t see. And you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

Limited insight into invoice and payment volumes make it difficult for finance leaders to accurately predict cash flowing out of the business. Paper documents, or a mix of paper and electronic documents, prevent AP staff from seeing all information related to a particular invoice or payment. This can put vendor relationships in jeopardy if issues arise regarding a payment and staff cannot locate the information they need to resolve the problem.

How ECM Can Help

Enterprise content management (ECM), or AP automation can improve efficiency by eliminating the excessive tiem and errors that result from AP staff manually entering invoice data and indexing files. ECM can improve access through web and mobile applications to give you remote and quick access to information you need without any connection to the office. ECM can improve visibility with dashboards to monitor the status of invoice payments and summarize liabilities for more accurate accrual reporting.

This eBook provides more details and statistics on how ECM can help accelerate your accounts payable processes.

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