17th October, 2023
Accounts payable (AP) is a great source of business insight, but all too often it’s seen as a cost rather than a valuable strategic asset.
That’s because AP is notoriously a time-consuming and heavily manual process. This can make it difficult for AP teams to analyse data in real-time and deliver information that will help grow their business.
AP data goes beyond the management of financial transactions. Visibility of where your organisation’s money is going, what it’s being used for and whether it is used effectively can lead to opportunities for business performance and growth.
For visibility of the money going out of your business, you need bills entered into its accounting system.
This requires your AP team to enter data quickly or you need to hire more people — both of which can be expensive.
AP automation makes this process faster and cheaper, making it easier to gain clarity over your financial position.
AP teams will also find it quicker to retrieve information and view it on live dashboards.
Often, companies have little insight into the suppliers they’re working with or where they could consolidate to negotiate better pricing.
Yahava owner Paul Davies says automating accounts payable has provided a clearer picture for the business. Whether that be combining what it purchased from two different suppliers, getting a quick overview of the volume from some suppliers or negotiating a better deal with others.
“It definitely helped us to sharpen our pencils about getting the most out of each supply.”
Finance teams can use AP data to manage how they are trending against the budget every month, but only if they have the time to budget, analyse metrics and find ways to reduce costs.
Usually, these insights take weeks or months to generate manually.
For CDB Group, Australia and New Zealand’s largest importer, distributor and marketer of electronic products, real-time data analytics have been critical for gaining control over larger cost lines.
With AP automation, there’s no need to dig through stacks of paper to uncover valuable data insights.
All the invoices are now in one portal, easily accessed with nothing lost. This allows pulling data and building meaningful reports to improve business operations.
“With all the information available, we can now analyse and interrogate it. For example, you might be interested in who your main suppliers are, the dollar amounts spent with them or the regularity of invoices. Ocerra enables us to drill into the data and see who we are paying, how often and how much,” says Mark Lumsden, CFO at CDB Group.
Manual data entry often includes typing errors, while late payments and duplicates can create bottlenecks in your approval process.
For example, if your total number of invoices processed is low compared to your total number of invoices received, something is stopping your team from processing invoices on time.
All of this can lead to decision-making based on incomplete or inaccurate data.
AP automation software will scan and extract data from invoices automatically.
Machines are better with repetitive tasks than humans resulting in higher accuracy.
It can also validate data against what’s in other systems to ensure accuracy, leaving you with data you can trust.
“Ocerra pre-populates invoice data including account codes and taxes and then saves to MYOB with the original PDF file attached”, says Natalie Tat, Corporate Accountant at Booster
Paperwork has the potential to misfile, destroyed or tampered with in manual AP systems.
This can make monitoring levels of access harder for financial managers, and leave your business open to unauthorised spending.
Shifting to a digital solution means you can secure your data while setting up security features like multiple approval checkpoints.
You can also access compliance and fraud reporting to ensure complete visibility over invoice workflow and financial transactions, and significantly reduce the risk of fraud by tracking invoice history and approval.
It’s almost impossible to see all the invoices across an organisation without AP automation.
By leveraging automation, you can unlock valuable business insights such as spending trends, or uncover opportunities for strategic improvements.
With accounts payable automation, your team will not only have more time to focus on providing insights for the business, but other teams can also access this information more easily, empowering the entire organisation to make smarter spending decisions.
Ocerra isn’t just a standalone system; it’s a certified MYOB AccountRight application, promising easy and efficient integration. What does this mean for organisations?
In essence, Ocerra offers a seamless bridge between its AP automation and MYOB AccountRight, providing organisations with a holistic and efficient accounts payable solution.
In a world where time is money, streamlining operations is no longer a luxury but an absolute necessity.
By harnessing the power of Ocerra, organisations can leap forward in efficiency, accuracy, and financial security.
Ready to transform your accounts payable processes?
Don’t delay the benefits of automation.