Manual keying has long been a fact of life in accounts payable processing. Processing paper invoices has typically required:
- Costly and error-prone keying of invoice data
- Lost or misplaced invoices
- Long approval and exception resolution cycles (which result in late fees and missed discounts)
- Compliance and security risks
- High paper storage and retrieval costs
- Delays uploading data on approved invoices to downstream systems
- Time-consuming supplier inquiries regarding invoice and payment status
- Difficulty implementing operational best practices
All of this keying and manual work greatly increases the chance of errors. 39 percent of businesses report that duplicate payments and over-payments represent more than one percent of their payments (many from mis-keyed data). Worse, duplicate payments and over-payments account for two percent or more of all payments at 14 percent of the businesses surveyed for IOFM’s 2016 AP Key Performance Indicators Study. A rule of thumb is that a duplicate payment rate over 0.5 percent indicates weak controls, or that the master vendor file needs a good weeding out, IOFM noted.
The results of IOFM’s 2016 AP Key Performance Indicators Study illustrate the pervasiveness of keying in most payables shops: of the 69 full-time equivalents (FTEs) employed in accounts payable departments (on average across all locations), all but one FTE performs invoice data-entry.
But manual keying doesn’t have to be a central part of accounts payable processing. Automated accounts payable solutions such as NexusPayables eliminate:
- Manual keying of invoice data
- The physical matching of invoices and purchase orders
- Routing of invoices for approval
- The back-and-forth phone calls and e-mails required to resolve exceptions and disputes
- Manual keying of data into downstream systems
- Physical filing of processed invoices
Eliminating data entry and other manual tasks through automation can reduce invoice processing costs by more than 50 percent and accelerate cycle times by 35 percent, Aberdeen Group finds.
If you are ready to step away from the keyboard, schedule a demo of our NexusPayables product, today.