Another critical feature of true automation is the ability to make all necessary invoice and payment adjustments online, without calling a call center to resolve discrepancies.
For example, many invoice automation platforms can handle a three-way-match: PO – to a receipt – to an invoice. This facilitates faster invoice processing and minimizes errors. But the matching process becomes challenging when the vendor only delivers one or two of the three services included in the Purchase Order and wants payment for those completed services. The PO needs to remain open. Not all AP automation and payments platforms can do that without
significant intervention by a Call Center rep.
Another common scenario is a refund. If a vendor receives payment via an automated virtual card, but it’s not the right payment amount or there’s a credit on file, the vendor must refund the card payment. If there is no way for the refund to be managed automatically, the AP team must straighten it out – often with a call to the call center.
A third scenario that often requires intervention on the part of an AP team, often in conjunction with a call center rep, is when they have to sort out outsourced checks that don’t match the numbers that the client has in their GL. This often occurs when the automation company pools a client’s funds into a centralized location and cut checks to the vendors from that pooled fund.
All these scenarios offset the time savings that automation provides. If you consider the average handle time for a call in the financial and IT industries is 4:45 minutes , and your AP team makes 10 calls each week, then the lost productivity is almost an hour a week. That lost time can add up, especially if there are multiple AP members making calls.