Every industry is deeply concerned about its finances and the accounting processes and to be more precise its accounts payable is one of the most exacting areas for companies across industries.
This is because most of the accounting departments in various organizations will still be dependent on its traditional methods of preparing financial statements and invoices to process the payments.
Organizations are continuously realizing the facts which are made by the human employees. Paper and people based processes can lead to both high accounts payable, transaction costs and business opportunities which were missed.
The organizations are rapidly increasing which calls out for new ways to survive in this competitive market. Enhancing work efficiencies by reducing the costs is one of the best things that gets provided by Robotic Process Automation(RPA).
O yes! We will be discussing RPA in the context of Accounts Payable briefly. The challenges which are faced by the industry, account payable automation use cases, steps to implement RPA, how RPA in accounts payable which can assist organizations to simplify their functioning.
What is the need for Automation in Accounts payable?
For handling the invoices in a proper and efficient manner one needs to give topmost priority for the majority of its finance heads.
Organizations across all the industries expends a considerable amount of money which is needed to complete the process of a single invoice in a manual manner.
For completing the manual method, invoice processing can become an important part of the operative costs of any company.
There are automation tools in wide range which helps in automating the accounts payable.
Then why RPA?
RPA appears as the perfect solution to accounts payable automation as it is flexible, adaptable, high configurations of workflows that gets facilitated by RPA.
RPA in accounts payable refers to the use of technology which is deployed to manage and automate the rule based processes without any need of any human supervision and intervention.
RPA can include functions like collections, reducing the management, automated cash applications and even more.
RPA can be considered as the virtual robots which are capable of automating manual, repetitive tasks by eliminating errors.
Let’s discuss the benefits of automation in Accounts Payable in detail
It helps in lowering down the invoice processing costs and it also helps in improving the process of accounts payable along with proper standardization are the prime objectives which drives the organizations to reassess their accounts payable function.
RPA provides great potential to make revolutionary changes in the invoice processing landscape precisely for the teams of accounts payable and even it considers the fact where the process includes a number of manual and repetitive tasks.
The role of RPA in Accounts payable is to eradicate all the repetitive, time-consuming and low value tasks such as data entry from employees and allow them to focus on other higher value tasks.
RPA technology can make the process more simpler for accounts payable for accounts payable professionals which leads to many benefits.
#1. Streamline capturing and matching of supplier invoice data
In a typical manually driven accounts payable environment, the process of capturing input, matching data from supplier invoices which were managed by data entry staff.
The whole process is quite long and even can add days of delays to process the invoices.
It appears true in the case where decentralized account payable teams and when there is no mechanism which ensures whether the invoices have been received at the accurate location.
#2. Change in the complete process
RPA in accounts payable can completely make a change of the process.
The receipts of digital invoices, RPA can make the duplicate copy of the tasks of coding which has the accurate data of the invoices, capturing the data and matching the information against other data sets such as purchase orders or supplier master data.
#3. Better Compliance
Manual accounts payable processing puts accountants under high pressure which prepares the accounting statements and they often end up the process by forgetting to take the confirmed receipts of the goods and services.
Integrating RPA can allow the companies to have an automatic alert which is sent to the one who is creating the purchase order and in case if the purchase order goes missing with an aim of keeping any hold up in the process to a minimum.
#4. Error Removal
The manual data helps in capturing the accounts payable workflow which is a monotonous and labour intensive task which often leads to the mistakes in the data which got entered into the accounts payable system.
RPA systems are programmed in such a manner that matches the invoices at various levels and if the data gets correct, the invoice gets passed and gets approved without any further hold.
#5. Faster Account Reconciliation
The reconciliation statements and closing all the accounting books is a time-consuming and long process and it also involves multiple employees.
Integrating RPA in accounts payable can make the process much more smoother as the software bots can be used to automate the data, manage minor decision-making and troubleshoot inaccuracies.
It helps in reducing the chances of human errors and even make the accounts payable process more quickly and accurate.
One of the best advantages of RPA workflows is that they are completely scalable and can reuse the different departments and locales.
Whether its a state of ongoing growth or fluctuations in the workload of accounts payable, RPA based bots can quickly get reallocated from the long queues to suit the individual circumstances of the specific organization.
#7. Improved supplier relations
RPA technology can be proved instrumental for making an improvement in the speed of invoice approvals, manual processes or when there is a delay in the payment and when the supplier is not a part of the loop, it can send it again and thinking that the invoice got misplaced and even lost.
This can double up the confusion and organization might even end up paying the payment for the same invoice twice.
However, with RPA implementation leads to a shorter invoice cycle that diminishes the chances of such instances.
#8. Cost Savings
Organizations can have notable savings with the implementation of the RPA system to take the multiple invoices and their data along with similar responsibilities that were previously outsourced.
However, RPA diminishes the typical invoices to give the companies a benefit of payment discounts which are offered by different suppliers.
Automation in these tasks can also assist in avoiding late payment penalties, even the chances get much higher when we operate it manually.
#9. Enhanced customer experience
RPA and its implementation make sure that the accounting services are available throughout the year without having any disturbance in the workforce.
Account payable automation can also permit the companies to render customer services which are better and to get a competitive advantage in the industry.
#10. Smooth financial closing and reporting
Integrating RPA technology can assist accounts payable departments which process tax entries into different financial tools such as Quickbooks from the excel spreadsheets which were earlier received from all the departments of the business units, and which help in diminishing the manual copies and data transcribing the tasks of employees.
RPA delivers the most attractive advantages for the financial service industry and particularly in the back office operations such as accounts payable automation and even invoice processing.
Many of the companies are just starting to register the benefits of RPA technology in accounts payable but there are clear trends of developing interest in exploring and implementing the technology.