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Implementing Technology to Reduce Costs (Part 1)

Any AP team will want to make sure that it works as effectively as possible and this can be done by making improvements to methods. These improvements can be achieved through technology - we take a look at the most effective solutions out there.

Any AP team will want to make sure that it works as effectively as possible and this can be done by making improvements to methods. However, it is not just a case of implementing improvements for the sake of it because they have to be considered with a methodical approach. What’s more, these improvements can be achieved through the use of technology but the technologies have to bring with them impressive benefits at a low cost. So, lets take a look at some of the most effective solutions out there. 

Strong Invoices

It’s really important that AP teams work efficiently and this is true when it comes to accessing invoices. By scanning and indexing invoices, it makes it easier and faster to access them when they are required. Furthermore, this is an easy change to make but one that will prove highly effective. Instead of spending time looking for hard coping, invoices can be scanned and linked to your accounting system. This will increase speed and it will save time, all of which will provide you with the first step towards automation.

The Importance of Analysis 

Using data and metrics, AP managers and leaders can use this data to produce information from the AP ledger, transactions and master vendor file that is actionable and usable. This goes one step further than simply recording metrics because it is more detailed. This means that it will involve trend analysis and information on a wider scale that can help to bring in improvements. This can include the likes of supplier queries, error resolution analysis and team analysis. All of the information is then collated as a way of identifying areas that require improvement.

Implement Purchase Order Processing Systems

Purchase orders make it easier to manage orders and the way in which they are processed. As a result, many businesses are now choosing to install purchase order systems while also expecting purchase orders to be used on all invoices. As setting up orders and processing them is time-consuming, this trend is streamlining processes and making things simpler. 

However, you have to look at the benefits as they mean that errors can be reduced as it will increase the likelihood of checking as it increases cross-checking. Furthermore, it also means that you can gain more insight into vendor spending too, giving you more scope to manage processes more effectively.

Despite this, as AP is further along the process than procurement, there are ways in which this process can face challenges. It could result in incorrect information being passed through the system, much of which is unchecked and that leads to errors. However, a purchase order system is a crucial tool but it does require procurement and AP to work closely, as this will allow the monitoring of transactions while also improving processes where required.

So, technology clearly has a vital role to play and there are many solutions available for AP to take advantage of. We’ll cover more in part 2 of this series.

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About the Author

Stewart Hayward





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