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3 Signs That it’s Time to Automate AP With a Cloud Native Solution

Does your accounts payable department find it frustrating to process supplier invoices? You’re not alone.

According to the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM), 19% of accounts payable leaders are concerned about the way their department is doing things these days. 7% of accounts payable leaders admit to being overwhelmed with disruptions related to remote working.

The sudden shift to remote working completely upset the way accounts payable has operated for years. Traditional approaches to invoice processing weren’t designed to support remote employees.

Cloud-native solutions can help.

Cloud-native solutions are written, tested, deployed, and managed entirely in the cloud. Payables departments can use a cloud-native solution to capture, process, and manage invoices, automating some tasks while making others much, much easier.

Here are three signs that it may be time to deploy a cloud-native solution for accounts payable:

  1. Overwhelming manual tasks. Accounts payable staff waste lots of time keying information, correcting errors, tracking down approvers, and searching for information. Resolving more complex invoices in a work-from-home environment can result in days of back-and-forth phone calls and e-mails. Cloud-native solutions eliminate the repetitive manual tasks that hold staff back when they work remotely. Cloud-native solutions consolidate your capture software and processes into a single, pre-integrated platform. You can aggregate content from multiple input sources then smart AI automatically classifies that data, even when it’s extracted from unstructured documents. Robotic process automation (RPA) eliminates the need to perform repetitive tasks and machine learning reduces human intervention and errors. All this helps keep your processes flowing, no matter where accounts payable staff work.
  2. Slow turnaround. Adapting paper-centric invoice approval processes to a remote working environment is hard. Some businesses are leaning hard on unsecured e-mail to set up their new suppliers and route invoices for approval. Others send a skeleton crew into the office once a week to open the mail and process invoices. Some even physically transport invoices around town to get approval signatures. As a result, more than 25% of accounts payable professionals are working longer hours. From document capture to content management, cloud-native solutions provide departments with better efficiency over their invoice processing so they can speed ahead, even when staff works remotely. What’s more, cloud-native solutions enable payables departments to scale up or down in an instant while also adding and subtracting features at any time. Departments only pay only for what they need giving you the freedom to automate based on their current business requirements.
  3. Poor visibility. In turbulent times, businesses need to know where things stand with their cash and spending, but antiquated approaches to managing accounts payable data makes that a tall order. Documents may be stored locally but it feels like it takes a lifetime to manually search for information stored in a shared file folder. Worse yet, information stored in legacy systems may not be readily available to approvers. Cloud-native solutions make it fast and easy to search your content securely, from anywhere. They also integrate with your existing infrastructure. Cloud-native solutions connect to your current content services and legacy systems without any additional code. Seamless integration with Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Azure enables users to capture, process, and manage content within a single cloud-native document management system. Organizations can add unlimited users and bots, putting information at the fingertips of those who need it.

If your accounts payable department is experiencing any of these issues, then it’s time to deploy a cloud-native solution for capturing, processing, and managing the invoices you receive.

Contact ibml to learn if a cloud-native solution is right for you.

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