Denver, Colorado

How Automation Can Revolutionize Accounts Payable

By Sarah Dell’Aringa

The modern workday is changing and evolving as we know it. Within this new remote reality resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are heavy concerns swarming the workplace about the security of jobs and how exactly positions may be altered. Technological advancements combined with the opportunity of working from home have simplified work methods, though simultaneously proven some jobs to be obsolete. However, amping up productivity in the workplace can be done by physical workers along with new approaches – automation within accounts payable being the future. 

The positive side of this new reality we have entered is that while being strictly forced into operating remotely, we can now discover highly enhanced levels of productivity within multiple areas. Current technology has become further integrated into our lives, and newer developments are being made daily – developments that aid company’s ongoing searches to improve and modernize our work lives, save money where possible, and overall enhance the efficiency of our systems. In this blog, we’ll explore all aspects regarding the future of AP departments everywhere, and put questions and concerns to rest. 

Automation’s Influence: Granting Freedom From Expendable Tasks

With the worrisome belief that automated processes will put workers out of their jobs, rest assured that this is only a misconception, as automation does not necessarily equal layoffs. In reality, automation can enhance the work life of current positions that are held and open up even more opportunities for future hires. Essentially, automation’s job is to take tasks within accounts payable that are time-consuming and monotonous – such as opening up mailed invoices, looking for matching receipts and routinely looking up the correct coding for said invoices – and automates the process of invoice data capture, three-way matching, and general ledger coding flawlessly in order to maximize the time employees spend. In every work department, there are individuals who wish they didn’t have to complete repetitive tasks that seem of little importance when considering the grand scheme of things. AP workers will find more freedom and become capable of much more as their concentration can shift towards bigger fish that need frying. No more running back and forth between offices, or sending out multiple instant messages throughout the day clarifying an answer to a problem that automation will solve for you in an instant.

Information Stored Safely and Efficiently

All invoicing data becomes stored in a cloud-based system for more efficient containment of important information, so losing necessary data is no longer a difficulty. Easily avoidable mistakes such as duplicated invoices and fraudulent payments will significantly decline. Automation opens up the option for paperless invoicing processes, reducing overall costs for your company and moving towards a more digitally enhanced world. When there is a system set in place to process functions twice as quickly as before, the workflow within AP is truly transformed – accuracy is key. All of these combined advantages simplify invoice processing as we know it, and this is only the start; endless possibilities are still being discovered and developed. 

Saving on Costs in Multiple Areas with Automation

Companies that utilize automated processes will observe costs decreasing not only regarding paperless options, but personnel. No longer do the amount of workers need to meet the amount of invoices; automation balances the workflow, allowing current employees to handle a large amount of invoices and requests without needing to hire dozens more staff members in order to keep up. What companies can put their funds toward is hiring staff to take on new projects and positions within the company that stimulate overall growth – not just specifically within accounts payable, but with a focus on all departments. 

Why Employees are Still Absolutely Prioritized

Regarding all of the strengths of automation within accounts payable, it is wise to be aware of the changes, yet still recognize what makes physical employees extremely valuable and essential: interpersonal skills, devising strategies and problem-solving. Everything automation can accomplish, workers can also accomplish, but fortunately not vice versa. We cannot yet automate processes for critical thinking, decision making, or using one’s judgement to make serious decisions based on a company or department’s best interest. Employees themselves add variety and have the ability to negotiate, put matters into a business perspective and provide their own unique perspective and opinion where it is needed professionally. 

The Chance to Thrive With New Methods and Combined Skills

Employees in AP departments will not only thrive in this modern workplace, but there is a growing demand for tech-savvy workers accustomed to automation to fill roles in big corporations moving forward with streamlined, cost-efficient methods. As accuracy within accounts payable is increasingly prioritized, there is a need for creative minds that are open to operating in the growing technological world. Automated processes combined with the natural skills accounts payable workers bring to the table will revolutionize the way work is completed within companies.

Moving forward alongside automated processes will make AP workers more valuable, up-to-date, and in sync with modern workplaces. While companies and executives may be resistant to change or unnerved about new methods regarding day-to-day functions, examining all of the advantages and realizing how this idealistic version of a streamlined department could become a reality very simply is all that needs to be brought to their attention. Automation is just a few simple steps that can take accounts payable in an entirely new direction, and one that will improve every worker’s life drastically, no matter what position. 

Will Automation Be Your Company’s Future?

If you feel that automation could exceedingly improve the work life within your company, consider researching some success stories from companies that have utilized automated processes within their accounts payable departments and how it has made advancements regarding their budget, morale of their staff, accuracy of information, and more. There are many specific problems automation can individually solve, and truly looking towards the future is understanding what your department may look like when given technological advancements. We’re currently entering a new reality; it’s time to take charge and seize the opportunities we’re given. Find out how your company can get started with automation, and consider reaching out to an oAppsNET Partners consultant to learn more today. 

August 29, 2020