In an ideal world, invoice processing would look like this:
But this is rarely the case. Straight-through-processing or STP of invoices remains out of reach for most businesses, despite advancements in automation over the last decade. Legacy processes, complex workflows, and a chronic lack of agility are commonplace for Account Processing (AP) teams, leading to seven accounts payable challenges:
- High manual dependency – Research reveals that 51% of companies use manual efforts for something as simple as data entry. You could be losing out on thousands of dollars in efficiency gains, not to mention added efforts in correcting the 3.6% error rate.
- Convoluted routes for invoice approval – As 37% of companies still route their invoices manually, unexpected delays prevent timely payments to vendors. In drastic scenarios, the invoice could hit a brick wall and require a fresh billing cycle from scratch.
- Mounting liabilities – In the face of delayed approvals and manual errors, invoices could sit unactioned for months. This is a challenge for 27% of companies, leading to accumulated liabilities over time, mounting pressure at EOM/EOQ, and the risk of non-compliance.
- Difficulties in handling exceptions – The cause for an exception could range from incorrect price, quantity, or volume, to missing taxation details, PO number, or other information. They derail invoices from a straightforward path, requiring even more manual interventions.
- Failure to gain from timebound discounts – A business might negotiate more favorable terms and discounted rates if invoices are processed on time. Unfortunately, nearly 1 in 5 companies cannot realize these benefits due to delayed vendor payments.
- Lost invoices and effort duplication – As the saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth” – and this is certainly true for AP. In 33% of companies, manual dependencies, ineffective exception handling, approval complexities, and decentralization cause invoices to get lost.
- Decentralized AP – With invoices pouring in from multiple business units, and no consistent or cohesive workflow, AP teams’ work can be fragmented. This hinders centralized visibility and governance, which becomes a problem when it is time for the business to scale.
Automation has long been touted as a silver bullet to these accounts payable challenges, helping companies achieve 100% STP. Research from Ardent Partners suggests that top-performing companies have 2.5 times higher STP rate than their laggard counterparts – clearly, there is a yawning gap to fill. Most companies cite the cost of ownership, a high degree of technical involvement, and a lack of cognitive capabilities as reasons to put off automation. As a result, they fall to the bottom of the pack, lagging far behind industry leaders.
How HyperApps Can Solve All of Your AP Problems
Instead of a rigid, sweeping automation landscape, a HyperApp offers near-surgical precision when it comes to handling complex processes. A self-contained, ready-to-use, and integration-friendly invoice approval software can transform invoice processing in as little as four weeks. Its architecture is designed from the ground up to give business users the ability to configure a business workflow to their unique needs without any support required from IT.
This can lead to massive effort savings in the long-term, while also making businesses more agile for emerging invoicing needs and handling, or changes to business processes.
For example, a company with HyperApp-led business process automation software will find it significantly easier to adapt to the touchless needs of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, automatically “learning” new template structures through ML.
Transform Your Invoice Processing With Our Accounts Payable Solution