Many businesses struggle with the cost of manual labour-intensive tasks, such as processing invoices. It has in fact been calculated the average cost for processing an invoice for a UK business is between £4 - £25 per invoice. The difficulty stems from a number of factors. Firstly, these tasks can be very time consuming often due to the quantity, for example, businesses don’t have just one or two invoices to process, it is often hundreds. To process all these invoice businesses, need to make sure they have a big enough labour pool, which is a costly expense. There is also the factor of human error to consider, reworking keyboard mistakes has been estimated to cost a large organisation up to $1 million annually.
However, is invoice processing the best use of your employee’s time, couldn’t they be used more effectively within your business? By switching to an automated system for invoice processing you could:
Free up your finance team
Grow your organisation, without increasing admin costs.
Reduce days outstanding and improve your cash flow
Improve supplier relations and prepare yourself for any compliance audit
Which technologies are enabling invoice automation?
But how do we make invoice processing fully automated? Through a blend of technologies such as AI infused data capture, workflow automation and robotic process automation, accounts payable teams can achieve no touch invoice processing as seen in the following video.
The first of these technologies, Datacap, can be used to transform structured or unstructured data into business rich information. This software can streamline the capture of incoming documents, recognition of what type of document it is and classify, sort and save the data from it.
If we take the example of invoice automation then Datacap, from the moment an invoice arrives within a business, will start to identify an attachment on an email, validating that it is an invoice and capture the relevant data. The software can then extract the relevant data from the invoice, whilst also flagging any errors or missing data and calling for human intervention. From this stage, RPA can now come into play.
The second of these technologies, RPA, is the use of software bots or AI digital workers that can be programmed to perform certain tasks within a business. It can be configured to perform a number of manual tasks such as; trigger responses, entering and manipulating huge quantities of data and communicating with other systems.
If we return to the example of processing invoices, the RPA bots can be configured to take the captured invoice data and open your financial system and enter the data into the relevant field within the system. For here the bot can save or send the processed invoice to a destination of your choice.
By using RPA and Datacap to automate invoice processing you can ensure the task is completed quicker, more cost-effectively and with fewer errors. With the software working in the background, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, your staff are now freed up to tackle more complex, higher-value tasks with a greater degree of productivity and efficiency.
Get in touch to find out how we at ABP Consultancy have helped our customers deploy tailored, fit for purpose automation solutions.