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 challenges in invoice processing:
- 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 adding effort to correct the 3.6% error rate.
- Convoluted routes for invoice approval — As 37% of companies still route their invoices manually, unexpected delays prevent timely vendor payments. 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 time-bound discounts — A business might negotiate more favorable terms and discounted rates for on-time invoice processing. Unfortunately, nearly one in five 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, an AP team's 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 invoice processing challenges, helping companies achieve 100% STP. Research from Ardent Partners suggests that top-performing companies have a 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 HyperApp can transform invoice pInstead of a rigid, sweeping automation landscape, a HyperApp offers near-surgical precision when handling complex processes. This self-contained, ready-to-use and integration-friendly invoice approval software can transform your invoice process in as little as four weeks. Its architecture is designed from the ground up to give users the ability to configure a business workflow to their unique needs without any support required from IT.
This can lead to a massive savings of effort in the long term while also making businesses more agile for emerging invoice processing needs 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 machine learning.
Transform Your Invoice Processing with Our Accounts Payable Solution
Now that you know how to make invoice processing easier, learn more about our accounts payable solution and how it answers the most pressing challenges in the invoice process. Download our e-book or request a demo of our HyperApp solution today.