How Manual AP Processes Undermine Your ERP Investments

How Manual Accounts Payable Processes Undermine Your ERP Investments

Guest Post by Canon U.S.A. Inc.‘s Digital Imaging Solutions Division

Read time: 2.5 min.

Are you getting the most out your enterprise resource planning (ERP) investment?

If you rely on manual or semi-automated accounts payable processes, the answer is likely “no.”

Many ERP systems are not fully leveraged because the accounts payable processes that touch these expensive systems have not been fully optimized. In many cases, they are manual! As a result:

  • Back and forth paper shuffling continues: Manual processes make it difficult for to track the status of invoices and to ensure that the appropriate individuals have approved invoices in a timely manner. Paper invoices can sit for days on an individual’s desk, or get stuck in inter-office mail, awaiting approval. Paper processes also make it difficult for managers to measure the effectiveness of their systems, processes and staff, or to make quick adjustments.
  • Staff must manually rekey data into the ERP system: Manual keying is a big contributor to the cost of invoice processing. Manually keying information on approved invoices into an ERP also increases the chances of incorrect or duplicate payments to suppliers.
  • Information in the ERP system is delayed, incorrect or incomplete: In a manual accounts payable environment, information pertaining to an invoice is trapped on paper documents. And auditing in a manual accounts payable environment requires businesses to cobble together information from multiple systems — a time-consuming and error-prone affair.
  • The data required for day-to-day operations or cash management is not available: Accounts payable managers need to understand staff productivity, and the effectiveness of invoice processes such as the number of invoices processed or awaiting action for approval or exceptions resolution, and the average time it takes to process an invoice. Finance needs insights into which high-value invoice payments are due, which early-pay discounts are about to expire, and a forecast of accounts payable’s cash requirements for the next period.

Automate Accounts Payable Processes

Organizations cannot afford to have your hefty ERP investments undermined by manual accounts payable processes.  That’s why more organizations are automating their accounts payable processes with solutions that combine data capture and workflow and seamlessly integrate with their ERP.     

Automation provides a single platform for digitizing paper documents, importing electronic documents in their native format (e-mail, fax, EDI and PDFs) from other applications, extracting key data (such as invoice number, invoice amount and supplier identification), electronically routing invoices that require approval or exceptions handling to pre-defined individuals, archiving invoice images and data, and seamlessly uploading information on approved invoices into an ERP.    

On-the-go and Work-from-Home purchasers can also approve invoices via a smartphone or tablet.    

Integrating an automated accounts payable solution with an ERP reduces operational costs, trims errors, enhances visibility, provides greater processing flexibility, and accelerates cycle times.    

Let us show you how an automated accounts payable application from Canon can help deliver better return on investment on your ERP system.  

Request More Info on AP Automation Today

About Canon Imaging Solutions Division

Digital Imaging Solutions, a division of Canon U.S.A. Inc. (CUSA), brings together Canon’s world-class imaging technologies and information management expertise to assist organizations in achieving their digital transformation objectives.  With a focus on innovation, CUSA’s Digital Imaging Solutions’ software development and solutions delivery capabilities scale across several practice areas: Business Process Automation – including Procure-to-Pay & Order-to-Cash automation, Document Solutions, Information Management Services with a focus on content capture, management and collaboration, and Security and Infrastructure Management.  With expertise in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics, CUSA’s Digital Imaging Solutions division deploys its solutions in partnership with leading technology providers and offers comprehensive consulting and professional services that are trusted by organizations of all sizes. Additional information about the company, its programs and mission can be found at Canon U.S.A., Inc.

three co-workers studying sheet of paper reviewing AP processes