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How Cloud Capture Helps Attract and Retain Top AP Talent

If your finance department is having trouble attracting and retaining top talent, you are not alone.  

With an unprecedented wave of workers leaving their jobs for higher pay, greater flexibility, and more fulfilling work, it’s hard for finance and accounts payable (AP) to fill open positions.  

Making matters worse, 20 percent of AP departments expect to lose a significant share of their team to retirement in the next four years, according to the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM). 

A potential economic downturn may ease the labor crunch for AP leaders.  But it won’t solve the underlying problem that manual invoice processing is a barrier to attracting and retaining top talent. 

Only 4 percent of AP leaders surveyed by IOFM describe their department as being fully automated, with no manual tasks.  Most AP leaders (57 percent) say their department is partially automated, with lots of manual tasks.  Six percent of AP departments are completely manual, and paper-based, per IOFM.

It doesn’t have to be this way for AP departments. 

Cloud capture automates the extraction, validation, and routing of data from supplier invoices, improving AP efficiency and effectiveness and making the function more appealing to workers.  

The state of invoice processing

Manual invoice processing tasks waste lots of employee time.   

Thirty-five percent of AP professionals squander between one-quarter to one-third of their typical workday on manual tasks such as keying invoice data, pushing around paper and emails, chasing down information, and fixing errors and mistakes.  All that time wasted on manual tasks is time that AP staff can’t spend on fulfilling growth-generating activities such as analyzing invoice data, collaborating with treasury and other stakeholders, and building better relationships with suppliers.  

Manual tasks not only hold the business back, but they also hold back the careers of the AP professionals that businesses are desperately trying to attract and retain.  Almost two-thirds of AP pros believe a lack of tools and technology is standing in the way of their career advancement.  It’s hard to envision a career for yourself when your day is consumed with monotonous data entry.   

Against this backdrop, it’s no surprise that the less automation in an AP department, the less likely an AP professional is to be satisfied with their job.  And staff who are dissatisfied with their job and don’t feel like they have a path towards career advancement are more likely to look for the door.

Almost one-third of AP professionals are either looking for a job with another organization or planning to start looking for a new job within the next six months.  And automation will be a top job requirement.  AP professionals say they are unlikely to accept a job at an AP department that doesn’t have the tools and technology to automate tasks such as entering data, routing invoices for approval, or resolving exceptions, IOFM finds.  The more tools and technology that an AP professional currently has at their disposal, the less likely they are to take a position with little or no automation. 

Why automate with cloud capture?

If AP departments want to attract and retain top staff, automating data capture is a good place to start. 

AP professionals clearly want to be unburdened from manual, repetitive tasks.  But keying invoice data is the task that AP pros would most like to eliminate.  Fifty-three percent of AP pros surveyed by IOFM identified entering invoice data as the task they would most like to eliminate from their workday.  Routing invoices for approval (cited by 42 percent of AP pros), resolving exceptions (35 percent), and filing invoices (29 percent) are other tasks that AP pros would like to eliminate.    

Cloud capture technology eliminates the manual tasks that bog AP pros and their employers down. 

  • Capture.  Cloud capture solutions consolidate all invoice capture processes onto a single, pre-integrated platform.  Content can be captured from multiple diverse input sources such as scanned documents, emails, and fax.  Artificial intelligence (AI) automatically extracts and classifies data from any source, including unstructured documents.  Machine learning reduces human intervention and errors over time by understanding how data should be captured.
  • Process.  Cloud capture solutions eliminate the need to perform repetitive tasks by integrating with enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications and other legacy systems without code.  Using robotic process automation (RPA) to automate repetitive tasks between systems limits mistakes and errors and frees up AP staff to focus more time on higher-value activities.  AP departments also can add unlimited bots and users to efficiently scale. 
  • Manage.  Cloud capture solutions seamlessly integrate with existing content management systems, making it easy for AP staff to search and find information from a single platform.      

From document capture to content management, cloud capture solutions eliminate manual tasks across the invoice processing lifecycle, elevating the role of AP professionals and the AP function.

If your AP department is looking for ways to eliminate manual tasks, ibml wants to speak with you. 

Contact us to chat about your needs and arrange an online demo of our cloud capture technology.

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