Why Implement Accounts Payable Automation?
AP Automation can help your company process invoices faster, take advantage of discounts offered, save costs by automating manual processes and increase efficiency in managing vendors and collecting documents electronically. Many leading companies use AP Automation to streamline business processes data capture, invoice processing, workflow management and document management.
At ICG Consulting, we specialize in AP Automation, and we have helped both mid- and large-size companies save millions of dollars a year with our award-winning AP automation solutions, which include vendor portals, spend analytics and dynamic discounting.
How Does AP Automation Work?
AP Automation can be implemented in several different ways, depending on your current technology. Document and data collection is the first step in the process and often the most time consuming, expensive and inefficient businesses process for large companies. AP Automation begins with electronically capturing documents and capturing critical data from vendor invoices. For any AP Automation solution, there are generally four different document and data capture options:
Take a look at the Pros and Cons for each data capture option:
|Type of Document Capture:||Pros:||Cons:|
|Scan/Data Entry||Least costly to implement; ideal for low transaction volume||Labor Intensive|
|Scan/OCR (Optical Character Recognition)||Reduces time costs and effort over manual data entry processes||Inaccurate data reads can lead to costly QA costs and processing errors|
|EDI||Ideal for larger vendors with standard electronic file format||Limited to larger and/or more IT sophisticated organizations|
|Electronic Invoice Submission/ Alternate Electronic Capture||Includes web invoicing and file uploading; ideal for all size AP operations; best cost-benefit ratio||May have limited use for invoices with many line items|
Implementing the proper blend of technologies while taking into account your current AP processes is crucial for yielding the best results. At ICG Consulting, we don’t recommend a costly overhaul of your entire AP system. Instead, we work with your current technology to implement the best set of complimentary technologies that adapt to your processes, technology, and corporate culture.
Once your documents and data have been captured electronically, the inbound transactional documents are imported into our Workflow Management Software. Next, the payment information is sent to the ERP system for vouchering and payment. (Our workflow solution can always be integrated with your current CRM, ERP and ECM software.)
This process, often called “invoice automation,” benefits Accounts Payable by providing a clear audit trail of transactions and real-time visibility into AP liabilities, as well as increasing the productivity of AP workers.
Once the payment information is processed, it doesn’t stop there. Data collected throughout the process is available and can be delivered as financial or productivity reports as well as providing you with advanced spend analytics so you can track your vendor spend and help manage rougue spending and budget adherence. You can also perform complex searches by a wide variety of criteria to build ad hoc reports on almost any criteria relevant to the process. Our AP Automation system is built with vendor self-service, so vendors can easily update their information or submit requests via a vendor portal. ICG's cloud hosted vendor portals are highly secure and offer 24 x 7 access to vendors. ICG Consulting's Accounts Payable Automation suite can be Cloud-Based (hosted, single tenant) or implemented On-Premise, depending on your currents needs and growth plans.
At ICG Consulting, we offer a variety of delivery models to meet your business, IT and security needs:
- Cloud Hosting: Single-tenant, SaaS type model which ICG hosts and manages in the cloud.
- On-Premises + Hosted by ICG: In this model, the system integration is housed on-premises behind your firewall, but ICG maintains databases and provide software support.
- On-Premises: Traditional project-based model where solutions reside on client maintained servers and infrastructure behind the firewall.
Why Choose ICG Consulting?
Our vendor portal solutions are technology-agnostic and can seamlessly integrate with your current systems and infrastructure. Our goal is to help you create a centralized, automated and standardized back office system that is optimized for your business and operates in conjunction with your existing processes. ICG’s AP Automation solutions address the complete order-to-pay cycle, including:
- Data and Document Capture
- Workflow Management
- Remote Invoice Approval
- PO Matching
- Electronic Invoicing
- Dynamic Discounting
- Vendor On-boarding & Administration
- Vendor Self-service via Vendor Portals
Implementing the right mix of technologies saves time related costs by capturing and processing data more efficiently. AP Automation provides significant bottom line savings through lower processing costs, faster payment cycles, clearer visibility of financial operations, and real-time reporting to track productivity.
Contact ICG more information about AP Automation solutions and services or to schedule a demo for your team.