Accounts payable practitioners know that invoice automation is a better alternative to manual keying, legacy OCR and paper shuffling.
But the capital expense, time and risk associated with many antiquated on-premise solutions has kept accounts payable invoice automation out of the reach of most AP departments.
The cloud – a broad term used to describe any configuration of software servers that communicate via the Internet rather than from a piece of physical hardware – is changing all that.
The cloud is turning the business case for accounts payable invoice automation on its head in six ways:
1. Cloud-based solutions make invoice automation scalable, adaptable and affordable for organizations of all sizes.
2. Remote workers can approve invoices from anywhere, at any time. Processes such as invoice review and approval can move ahead efficiently and unimpeded, regardless of where people work. Invoices approaching their due date can be escalated, if necessary. Separation of duties and chain of custody are assured. And all actions taken on an invoice are tracked.
3. Cloud-based invoice automation solutions provide real-time operations and financial insights across the accounts payable department, no matter the geographic location.
4. Cloud-based invoice automation solutions create opportunities for accounts payable to shift from a heavy upfront capital expense to a much lower monthly expense.
5. Cloud-based invoice automation solutions ensure that accounts payable uses the latest version of solutions, with current features and functionality, including the latest security safeguards. Large upgrades no longer will be required to maintain the latest technology.
6. Cloud-based invoice automation solutions integrate seamlessly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms such as PeopleSoft and NetSuite to eliminate manually keying and duplicate content and provide 360-degree visibility into transactions.
What is more, organizations can deploy cloud-based invoice automation solutions in a fraction of the time required for traditional on-premise systems.
It is for these reasons that 11 percent of accounts payable practitioners surveyed by the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) identified the cloud as the most important technology to the future of their profession. In fact, those surveyed by IOFM predict that the cloud will have a bigger impact on accounts payable invoice automation than hot-button technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, business analytics, online collaboration, fraud alerts and blockchain.
As in the consumer world, the cloud is becoming standard for accounts payable invoice automation.
Do not let your accounts payable department be left behind!
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