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Leaders Learn to Maximize

Their Human Capital in Accounts Payable

Practical Steps

for Maximizing Your AP Throughput

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By Jack Shales

8/13/2021

The goal of any Accounts Payable manager is generally to process as many invoices as soon as possible and with virtually no errors. Some solutions might increase speed, but reduce quality and vice versa, which makes it difficult to know when to automate and when not to automate.

Inevitably there will need to be human interaction at points in the AP process, but we can still streamline as much as possible to drive as much efficiency as we can while enabling the AP staff to maximize their potential in the workflow.

1. CloudOCR

CloudOCR takes the good parts of OCR (the automated indexing part) and removes the less valuable pieces (managing new servers, databases, user control groups, configuration, machine learning model training, etc.). Imagine a full OCR, Classification, and Data Capture product with an added layer of human verification as a service.

This allows CloudOCR to outperform any OCR software on the market by leveraging the most up-to-date machine learning technology paired with a person to take it the extra mile all before invoices flow into your system. This unique hybrid approach gives you the best chance for success in the realm of automated indexing up to and including handwritten fields.

How many days does it take your organization to process an invoice? CloudOCR can receive and send back invoices fully indexed within 24-hours via CSV, XML, and API connection.

2. Use Purchase Orders

A recent study by the Institute of Financial Operations determined that about 52.8% of invoices handled by companies today are based on Purchase Orders. Companies using Purchase Orders have much better paths to automation than those that do not.

The reason why lies in the creation of the purchase order itself. The PO creates an expectation that invoices will be coming with data identifiable to that PO, therefore when invoices are received and matched to a PO we can pull additional information such as the GL codes related to each specific line.

If purchase orders are not in use then there can be limited information presented on the invoice that will not necessarily tie back to anything in the ERP database. Even if something like job information is retrievable based on a captured value it is unlikely that the GL and Phase Codes are explicit requiring review.

It is technically possible to make 1:1 rules where ‘based on job 123 if the line item for part XYZ is indexed populate GL Code 10600’, but building these rules can be incredibly cumbersome and hard to maintain. Therefore it is in your best interest to use as much PO-based purchases as possible and utilize ERP dropdowns, autofills, and cascading data sets to enhance the speed of Non-PO invoices as much as possible.

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3. Automated 3-Way Match

Take PO automation to the ultimate level by automating 3-way matching. What exactly does this mean? In short, after the purchase order is posted and invoices are received we want a way to verify that the material listed on the invoice was actually received and that paying it would not go over the PO amount.

Let’s assume we are capturing invoice information through CloudOCR so that invoices come fully indexed into the AP Workflow and each of these invoices has a captured purchase order number. Those invoices can wait in a holding queue until receipts have been posted in the field. Once items on the PO have been marked as received the holding queue would recognize this, validate that other issues such as overpayment are not going to occur, then will automatically move the invoice out of the hold to be sent downstream and paid.

This means that PO invoices can come to an email, get automatically indexed and validated, automatically 3-way matched, and sent for payment without any human intervention. This could be your new normal!

5 procesos de RRHH que cualquier empresa debería automatizar

Practical Steps for Maximizing Your AP Throughput

REQUORDIT Approach
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1. Procesos de contratación e incorporación

El departamento de recursos humanos podría vincular una publicación de trabajo a su sitio web. Luego, el sistema podría capturar y almacenar todas las aplicaciones en una ubicación central, para después ser filtradas de acuerdo con las especificaciones establecidas. 

 Esto permitiría priorizar los candidatos prometedores y mantener al alcance las otras aplicaciones almacenadas para uso futuro. A través de la automatización de este proceso de RH se podría tener una lista constante de prospectos cada vez que un puesto queda vacante; una vez seleccionados, el sistema enviaría los formularios automáticamente a los reclutas. 

 La automatización del proceso de contratación te ayudará a responder a cada solicitante y mantenerlos actualizados sobre el proceso de contratación y posterior incorporación. 

2. Gestión de archivos empleados

Mantener los registros de los empleados de una empresa pequeña puede no ser una gran responsabilidad, pero a medida que la empresa crece, podría convertirse en una tarea de tiempo completo. El mantenimiento de documentos como contratos de empleados, beneficios y permisos de trabajo podría automatizarse, minimizando así las posibilidades de errores humanos y la necesidad de crecer el equipo. 

3. Procesos de desempeño y evaluación

Una función esencial del departamento de recursos humanos es la evaluación del desempeño de los empleados. La automatización de estos procesos te ayudará a identificar problemas sistemáticos y a mitigarlos. Además, puedes obtener dicha información en tiempo real y tomar una decisión informada. 

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4. Dejar solicitudes y feriados

Hacer un seguimiento de los diferentes tiempos que cada empleado tomará su tiempo libre puede resultar confuso y llevar mucho tiempo, especialmente si son un número significativo. La automatización de las solicitudes de licencias ayudará a los empleados a obtener aprobaciones más rápidamente, mientras que al mismo tiempo los registros de licencias se actualizan instantáneamente. El personal de recursos humanos solo deberá participar en el proceso de aprobación en circunstancias excepcionales. 

5. Offboarding

Los múltiples documentos y activos de la empresa que se envían una vez que un empleado renuncia hacen que el proceso de baja sea bastante agotador. La automatización del proceso facilita la recopilación de datos, como los días de licencia pendientes, etc. La automatización ayuda a mantener un registro digital de los datos en caso de que surjan problemas legales debido a un empleado descontento. 

La automatización de las tareas y procesos de RR.HH. resultará rentable a largo plazo. Será posible recibir retroalimentación en tiempo real sobre los procesos, lo cual es vital para mejorar la productividad general de la institución.  

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Leaders Learn to Maximize their

Human Capital in Accounts Payable

Many businesses talk about automation in AP and the statistics around reduced time and financial benefits. However, there are several leaders of AP departments who have made it through the transition to automated capture of information through OCR that have discovered one indisputable fact – Their people are providing more value to the business than they ever imagined.

Everyone has felt this at one point in their life. You are working so hard on doing your job and the work keeps coming in and piling up. Expectations keep rising, resources keep getting pulled away to assist the business grow and become more efficient. We do not realize the fact that we are losing that special part of us that can think and be creative in how we as human beings can improve our situation. 

Businesses that have deployed CloudOCR have experienced within a few days a new paradigm that there is now time to process the exceptions, perform cash management, respond to vendors, and develop relationships that matter, and maximize their personal contribution to the business. Job satisfaction is almost a given because the employees that have been buried in the trenches for so long are now able to shine. 

CloudOCR creates the opportunity to save in transactional costs of getting the data captured, but it also provides significant revenue opportunities for the business.

People who are provided the platform to rise to the occasion often will.  Just imagine the benefit that your company could see by being able to manage cash better.  Have all liabilities in the system, transparent, and ready to role within a few hours of the invoice arriving hours.  Your staff will be able to get busy immediately on exception handling, vendor management, managing discount strategies, and so much that was out of reach before.

CloudOCR creates the opportunity to save in transactional costs of getting the data captured, but it also provides significant revenue opportunities for the business.  Let us assume that we simply take away the data entry for a 4-person team and that the team was able to spend a full 8-hour day processing exceptions, managing discounts, supporting purchasing, and cash management activities. In our experience the upside of that time commitment to those activities far exceeds the cost savings of the data entry.

Job satisfaction is almost a given because the employees that have been buried in the trenches for so long are now able to shine.

Many college professors call this opportunity cost, soft costs, etc. that are eliminated, and it simply demonstrates how backwards measurements that justify projects can be. Isn’t the ability to create revenue, improve performance, and overall job satisfaction a much more motivating argument? 

When we maximize the human potential of our staff and focus on what matters, it’s really amazing what can happen. 

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Mark Buckley

President of REQUORDIT & CloudOCR. He has been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years in the business process automation space. Mark founded REQUORDIT in 1997 and has helped hundreds of companies automate and digitize their business.

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