November 29 , 2016

Getting the most out of invoice automation

by Accounts Payable Automation

Touchless invoice processing is a key objective for many corporations. But until now many have missed out on the true efficiency and control that comes from managing invoices automatically end-to-end.

Getting the most out of invoice automationTobias Wikström, Head of Invoice Automation at OpusCapita, gives a crucial piece of advice for corporations looking to increase invoice automation in their accounts payable (AP): take a cross-functional approach.

“It’s important to have a comprehensive, transparent view on the whole purchase-to-pay (P2P) process in your organization,” says Wikström. “Companies that fail to do this can easily end up sub-optimizing one part of the chain, and actually add to the workload in another area of their P2P process.”

According to Wikström, the key points that affect an organization’s ability to achieve a high level of invoice automation are quite generic, regardless of the size of the business, the type of industry, the geographical footprint or the organizational structure.

“When aiming to reduce manual labor in their AP function, companies should consider the level of their master data management, as well as the quality of their procurement processes,” he says. “Examining the state of readiness for electronic invoicing within the supplier base is also a necessary task to undertake when seeking to improve invoice quality.”

Looking ahead to the future, rapidly developing machine learning technologies and artificial intelligence are opening up new possibilities to further automate the operative tasks related to the purchase-to-pay process. This generates the need for new competencies in companies’ finance and accounting departments.

As Wikström points out: “For example, instead of continuously correcting incorrectly posted purchase invoices in AP, accountants will in future be able to become specialists in electronic invoice management.”