Five reasons to automate invoice processing
Is your invoice processing expediting your workflow, or slowing you down?
Looking to Streamline Your Accounts Payable? Go Digital.
Businesses process billions of invoices every year, and research suggests the number sent and received could quadruple by 2035. For some B2B companies this may represent a threat, and for others an opportunity. The innovative and enterprising that leverage emerging technologies will benefit from greater efficiency and accuracy — and all the associated cost savings. “The digital transformation is no longer an option, it’s the imperative,” and companies reluctant to act may fall behind.
So, is your invoice processing expediting your workflow, or slowing you down?
Five Advantages of Automated Invoice Processing
1. Time Savings
Without digitisation, the typical invoicing process includes the following steps:
- Supplier generates invoice
- Supplier sends invoice
- Buyer prints invoice
- Buyer enters invoice data
- Buyer reviews data
- Buyer approves invoice
- Buyer writes checks
- Buyer mails check to supplier
Plus, if there are any discrepancies, there’s a back-and-forth between buyer and supplier prior to approval.
This fully analog accounts payable process can take 30 to 90 days per invoice — and that’s when there are no errors anywhere in the cycle. With an automated solution, you can have invoice approval in minutes, without the need for human intervention. And, unfortunately, Atradius found that 87.6% of businesses in Western Europe and more than 90% in the United States report frequent late payments, and at nearly 50% Great Britain has the highest proportion of past-due invoices in its region.
With an automated system, you simply upload your invoice to Tungsten Network, and leverage our intelligent validation and auto-matching that eliminates the need for human intervention. By using an automated solution, you benefit by getting better visibility into cash, faster processing cycle times, and on-time payment.
So what’s the bottom line? According to research we conducted with the Institute of Finance & Management, 39% of invoices paid late could be prevented through the robust delivery of invoices in electronic format.
2. Cost Savings
As they say, time is money, and invoice processing is no different.
By switching to e-invoicing, you can reduce labor expenditures, printing and mailing overhead, and interest and late fees.
Specifically, the cost per invoice without an accounts payable automation solution is $7.03, while the cost per invoice after automating is $4.53 per invoice — for a savings of 35.6%.
3. Cash Flow and Performance Optimisation
With expense reduction and expedited payments, you’ll have more cash on hand to invest in innovation, hire and train new employees, expand and improve your offerings, and conduct general business.
Furthermore, when all parties can rely on your speedy invoice processing, you can also implement dynamic discounting, which benefits supplier and buyer.
4. Efficiency Improvements
Human error is unavoidable; according to Billentis, 20% to 30% of all invoices “have to be treated as exceptions in one form or another,” and inaccurate invoices account for approximately 16% of late payments in the United States, as well as 15% in Western Europe.
With automated invoice processing you can improve the accuracy of each invoice, your consistency across invoices, and your process control, reporting, accountability, transparency and archiving.
Imagine having all your invoice data in one file, and being able to analyse in seconds any aspect of your accounts payable process.
This will surely free up your accounting and finance departments to focus more on other tasks, increasing employee productivity. It will also allow your company to safely grow, confident that with an automated system you’ll be able to process an ever-increasing number of invoices without sacrificing accuracy.
5. Seamless Compliance
In many countries the invoice is a key document for providing evidence of tax compliance, and most tax audits are conducted years after the targeted business transactions.
With paper documentation, invoices have a far greater likelihood of being misplaced. With e-reporting, companies submit copies of documents online, after processing; while this is an improvement on renting a storage facility to warehouse boxes of files, it still causes delays and produces errors.
Conversely, e-invoicing incorporates real-time (or near real-time) electronic submission of original documents and all necessary data to tax authorities. Purchase orders are delivered directly to your suppliers, ready for conversion and invoice validation, improving quality and reducing risk of error. With one click you can convert the purchase order to an invoice, preventing manual discrepancies; two-way invoice-purchase order matching and optional additional country validations ensure there are no exceptions after you’ve received the legal invoice.
Automated invoice processing guarantees your tax compliance and legal security — and reduces related costs by 37% to 39%
As more and more governments require this clearance model each year, adopting it now will save you the hassle of trying to catch up in the future.
Go Digital Today
The cornerstone of the accounts payable process is the effective submission of your invoices.
Automating Your Accounts Payable
With Total AP from Tungsten Network, you’re 100% digitised from day one, allowing you to accommodate all your suppliers, regardless of size, location or maturity.
We simplify and streamline your entire accounts payable process, from initial receipt of invoices to customer payment submission, increasing productivity and saving you and your suppliers time and money.
Total AP provides:
- Flexible delivery options
- End-to-end process visibility of 100% of your invoices
- Real-time access to line-level data to identify price variances, ensure spend compliance and improve procurement decisions
- Guaranteed invoice delivery and real-time invoice status for suppliers, reducing calls and emails by up to 60%
- Digital transmission of all invoices, regardless of a supplier’s chosen submission format
- Eradication of invoice exceptions
- Full compliance with government mandates
- Secure and compliant invoice archiving
- Dedicated global enrollment teams for supplier onboarding
Did you know that the top-performing purchase-to-pay organisations report 10% year-on-year improvements in efficiency and effectiveness?