Accounts Payable Automation

Accounts Payable Automation

Processing a single invoice is easy.  You can review the charges, validate the vendor, confirm account informaiton, compare the items to a purchase order, apply the appropiate GL coding, and seek the necessary approvals.  If you only have one invoice to pay, completeing all these steps is easy and you can walk the invoice through the system.  However, what happens when you have several hundred invoices, or several thousand?  Then you no longer have the time to manually manage each document through your process as there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

This is the challenge faced by modern Accounts Payable teams across all industries.  How do you improve speed, increase visibility, and elminate manual tasks without compromising accuracy, security, and the essential steps of your approval process? The answer is FileBound from UpFlow Solutions.

FileBound allows you to quickly apply document management technology to your accounts payable processes to gain control and add automation for cost savings, quality management and scalability. FileBound is designed to be an end-to-end solution that maximises results. By capturing documents at the beginning of their life cycle you eliminate many of the challenges associated with managing paper documents. Captured documents enter an automated workflow for all of the approval decision making and conflict resolution processing. The value of workflow is that rules, roles, and deadlines get configured once and automatically applied over and over again. This takes the human element out of the decision making process which reduces errors and collapses the time it takes to process documents.

Benefits

Integration

At the end of the approval process, the transactional information needs to be entered into your ERP / Finance system. Whether that system is one of the mainstream solutions like Xero or MYOB, or something industry specific like Procore or PCSchool, UpFlow Solutions are experts at data integration. Using a variety of tools from API integration platforms through to Robotic Process Automation (RPA), we are confident we can get your information into your systems quickly, efficiently and accurately.

Accuracy

When it comes to the manual transcription of data, human error is a constant risk. One of the reasons that a manual AP process takes so much time is because there is a constant need to double-check figures. Accounts Payable Automation is an effective way to improve accurate of the data in your finance system because advanced OCR technology combined with sophisticated validations and database lookups means the invoice information is entered as accurately as possible.

Efficiency

There’s no avoiding the fact that getting invoices approved takes some time. However, with a FileBound AP Automation solution, we can reduce the amount of time that process takes. A process that used to be measured in weeks can now be reduced to days, hours, or even minutes. If you have outbound team members, staff that work off-site, or employees that travel a lot, FileBound can alert them to their assigned tasks. They can then login from wherever they are and take the actions they need to take for each assignment. No more waiting for staff to return to their desks and no more physical routing of paper.

Security

All businesses must be vigilant against dishonestly crimes. Whether that means identifying fraudulent suppliers / invoices or preventing the internal manipulation of documents, AP Automation needs to strengthen the checks and balances needed to prevent illegitimate payments. A FileBound AP Automation solution can check for duplicate invoices, enforce a two-check approval process, can prevent the approvers from editing the invoice data if necessary, and could even validate the account number listed on the invoices against the one you have loaded in your finance system for that suppier.

Visibility

When your approval process is reliant on paper-based invoices, its easy to lose track of them. This lack of immediate visibility is only compounded if you have more than one approver, more than one site / location, mobile workers, or team members spread across multiple floors and/or buildings.
FileBound creates a central library of invoices regardless of what stage of the process each invoice is in. Users can login from browser or app to review and complete an tasks assigned to them. For the AP team this means that the status of any invoice is only a few clicks away at anything and none of them will go missing.
This level of visibility can also help with cashflow reporting as you will now have the ability to see the total value of the invoices received byt not yet loaded into your finance system.

Archiving

Where you save the invoice documents at the end of your AP Process is a widely debated topic. Some systems can ingest invoice PDFs whereas others can not. Our position is that even if you want the documents inside your ERP database, having a backup library is still a prudent course of action. FileBound can maintain a library of your invoices which could be cross-linked or independantly searched as required.

If you’d like to know more about this, please read the article we published about this topic.
http://upflowsolutions.co.nz/2018/12/10/where-should-you-put-the-documents/

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Industry Updates

NZBN (New Zealand Business Number)

There are changes coming to the way that business transact with each other and a key element of those changes is the NZBN.  The NZBN is a globally unique identifier that makes it easier for your customers and suppliers to do business with you.   When coupled with AP Automation and E-Invoicing standards, the NZBN ensures the information exchanged between your business and your customers/suppliers is correct and of high quality.

If you are a registered company then the good news is that you already have one, even if you haven’t been using it on your invoices.  If you are a sole trader or partnership, then you may need to register you business to get one.  If you aren’t sure if you have one already, start by searching for your business here – //www.nzbn.govt.nz/mynzbn/search/

PEPPOL (Pan Eurpean Post Procurement Online)

More content and advise on the PEPPOL is coming soon.  Meanwhile, if you have questions about PEPPOL, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.