When it comes to implementing digital transformation solutions, accounts payable departments often takes a backseat to other business processes. This makes sense because of the increased rigor that financial documentation goes through during processing. However, optimizing customer-oriented workflows, or process automation, without optimizing your invoice and billing solutions is a half-measure that will generate production bottlenecks in time. There are three ways to improve workflow efficiency with accounts payable automation.
Instead of treating your accounts payable department like a burdensome cost, you can implement AP automation and innovative managed services that will transform accounting processes into cost saving value-generating assets. Once you start quantifying value in terms of cost-savings and efficiencies, the opportunity to upgrade your accounts payable processes is one you will want to take as soon as you can.
From digitally invoice processing to implementing state-of-the-art data and network security solutions, you can provide your accounting department with the tools it needs to produce long-lasting value and eliminate manual processes.
Three Workflow Solutions to Improve Accounts Payable Efficiency
Today’s finance officers have to cope with increasingly complex regulations while being able to offer useful advice to partners using modern data analysis to draw insight. This puts CFOs in a position to balance concerns of performance, efficiency, and risk using data that may not always be immediately available.
To be able to take advantage of the data that accounts payable processes generate, you need to collect, store, and communicate data effectively. A solid financial data infrastructure can remove up to 25 percent of your current staff’s workload, increasing your capabilities significantly.
RJ Young’s workflow optimization specialists identify three valuable ways today’s organizations can reduce waste and inefficiency in accounts payable department. These include customized process automation, managed print services, and mobile compatibility.
1. Customized Process Automation and Workflows
Your organization operates according to a strict set of unique processes that determine what happens to incoming financial documentation. Those processes include solutions for invoices, procedures for billing, and retroactive corrections of mistakes (when possible).
Paper-based workflows are simply too slow and too inefficient to generate value in today’s workplace. But you cannot reasonably expect to bulldoze your own existing processes and replace them ad-hoc with brand new digital ones.
You need customized digital workflows that mirror your paper-based processes while improving the speed and efficiency with which accounts payable employees process individual documents. This allows you to set hard-and-fast rules that enforce regulatory compliances and speed up the capture of incoming financial documentation.
Additionally, customized digital workflows allow you to route new documents using automated tools that prevent the possibility of sensitive data getting into the wrong hands. You can also speed up the invoice approval process with real-time approvals. Customized workflows allow you to keep a closer eye on data transfer and printing so that your company enjoys greater data security.
2. Managed Print Services
Printing can account for up to 15 percent of unreported annual business spending. That alarming figure is easy to understand when you factor in the cost of ink and toner cartridges, paper, printer maintenance, and employee downtime caused by printer-related issues.
Managed Print Services transform your print fleet into a value-generating asset that is scalable, efficient, and easy to manage. These services turn an ad-hoc expense into a fixed fee while incentivizing your service provider to keep your print fleet in perfect working condition.
Powerful analytics allow you to look at print consumption at the individual user level to determine which AP team employees are abusing print resources – and why. This also gives you the power to change your print fleet layout to accommodate employee workflows so that the departments that print the most have the ideal resources available to do so.
3. Mobile Office Solutions
Enterprises are increasingly moving towards the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend. For an increasing number of employees, work no longer refers strictly to what happens at your desk. The ability to process and communicate data from the palm of your hand is an important and valuable asset.
While there are legitimate security concerns to letting employees use their own mobile devices, the fact is that employees will choose the most convenient way to get things done. If that means using a mobile device to send sensitive customer financial documentation, it is up to you to make sure that the transfer is a secure one.
Developing and deploying robust mobile office solutions help to standardize processes and procedures for using mobile devices. This allows employees to print, scan, and transfer sensitive data from their mobile devices securely while enjoying full access to company resources.
Let RJ Young Provide Your Business with AP Automation Solutions
Are you ready to incorporate state-of-the-art process automation and workflow solutions into your accounts payable processes? Contact an RJ Young specialist today!
Every day large volumes of paper documents can become difficult to manage, often leading to data entry errors, loss of information and inconvenient work delays. This inefficient use of time, office technology, office equipment, and human resources can result in significant financial losses for any sized business. Workflow Automation and Business Process Automation help businesses boost their productivity and efficiency.
Workflow Automation software is comprised of a set of tools aimed at maximizing all the benefits of performing automated business processes while reducing costs. It allows individuals to automate repetitive business processes and easily follow up on uncompleted tasks. Users gain knowledge into workflow performance with in-depth visibility into what needs to be done, who is involved in the process and what will happen after an action is taken.
In order to build effective automated processes, organizations should implement workflow software that will deliver the following five essential features:
- 1. Accessibility
Today, the most efficient workflow software systems are mobile accessible, providing users the ability to view document information, give approvals and access data and reports from any location at any time. It’s not enough to rely on one platform, as workflow software should be compatible from Mac to PC, tablet to smartphone and laptop. With mobile accessibility, security is a requirement. Advance workflow software should offer role-based access control so that workflows containing sensitive information can be kept hidden from certain users. Administrators can easily customize what each individual user can see and do, ensuring accessibility without sacrificing document and information security.
- 2. Visibility
High-level decision making depends heavily on the documentation at hand, corresponding data, and effective communication, which can be tough to monitor. Decision makers want to know quickly which processes are on track and which ones are in need of attention. Advanced workflow software provides a structured, centralized system allowing users to effectively track business processes and documents as they are completed. Of course, building automated business processes within workflow software may result in an inefficient process design. Robust, built-in workflow reporting improves visibility, allowing users to see what’s being held up and where to focus attention. This allows key people to instantly check the status of a process, analyze critical workflow steps and make effective decisions.
- 3. Notification
Within a busy environment, people tend to abandon documents if they are not reminded of them. An effective workflow software system will send notifications to remind users of action items such as upcoming approvals, data entry and indexing. With automatic notifications, users no longer have to wait for someone to hand off a document onto their desks. Workflow software makes business-critical documentation available on demand, immediately accessible and ready for action. Event triggers add flexible intervals between workflow actions based on the timing of a process. A process can be set to notify a user once a week, once a day, or once an hour. Ensuring best practices, by eliminating paper chasing and reducing processing delays, workflow software confirms that all steps have been completed correctly and checkpoints met before moving forward.
- 4. Non-Sequential Routes
It’s no doubt that certain processes need multiple manager approvals and review. Instead of building several different workflows for each department, advanced workflow software allows users to create one complete workflow on a singular design canvas that follows a different track depending on which department will do the approving. All steps can now run simultaneously as opposed to sequentially so that more can be done in less time, making the process more efficient.
- 5. Integration
The best workflow software systems will integrate seamlessly with an organization’s existing business applications such as QuickBooks and SalesForce. Users can also integrate their document management workflows with office equipment, including printers and scanning devices, which acts as the catalyst for workflow automation. Additionally, form designing platforms incorporate workflow software to allow data to be accessed and worked the moment it is captured, for more efficient and faster completion.
Workflow software makes any organization become more efficient by helping to save time, avoiding unnecessary manual work and making better use of resources.
Stop wasting time and money. Ensure your solution delivers these five features when it’s time to implement a workflow system in your organization and become the office hero -or rockstar. Learn more about Business Process Automation and Workflow Solutions today by contacting us today!