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How digitising your invoice process can increase AP processing efficiency by over 70%



Increasing business speed while reducing costs is a major driver of digital transformation in New Zealand and Australian businesses, and this is more apparent in accounts payable than anywhere else. The Government estimates contend that e-invoicing will save New Zealand and Australia $30 billion over the next 10 years.

 

"New Zealand businesses typically wait about 37 days for their invoices to be paid, but where online e-invoicing is in place, the average wait drops down to about 10 days," the report says. "The widespread adoption of e-invoicing will help speed up cashflow around the economy." That 70% improvement helps reduce your administration cost and increase the satisfaction of your suppliers.

Making the move from manual to digital also targets a number of other common business pain points. Excessive data processing is among the top challenges; manually inputting large amounts of data is time-consuming and often leads to errors, which reduces the integrity of that data.

End-to-end, the processing time using a manual invoicing system is often lengthy - as the report indicates, often over a month. From the time an invoice goes into an organisation to the time it's actually paid, a number of things have to happen:

  1. Significant amounts of manual data entry

  2. Approvals at different stages (especially in distributed organisations)

  3. A physical paper trail that can get held up on people's desks, or lost.

What this results in is low visibility over the process, a lack of transparency, and a lengthy time frame that's susceptible to error and can lead to costly mistakes. And because it takes so long, account reconciliation at the end of the month is often problematic because there are still invoices wending their way through the system or held up in manual bottlenecks.

When these hold-ups occur, a business's suppliers will often become impatient, wondering why they haven't been paid. This isn't conducive to good relationships, and is detrimental to a business.

Invoice processing, approvals and payment is a key process for any business, and making the move towards digitisation is becoming increasingly necessary. Digitisation enables automation, which eliminates errors, streamlines the process making it much faster, and provides transparency and visibility from end-to-end.

Most invoices arrive at a business attached to an email. A manually-based system will print them out, and then start them on their lengthy approvals journey. Digitising that information - a 'capture' process - facilitates automation, making it easier (and therefore faster) for the invoice to make its way through the necessary approvals.

Because the process is automated, the invoice goes immediately to the right people who can approve it with the click of a button. It doesn't land on the wrong desk, get lost in transit, or become buried underneath other paperwork. Once it has been fully approved, it's pushed through the business's ERP or finance system where the data is stored and can be analysed to spot trends or facilitate decision-making.

A key goal of many businesses is to produce timely information, so that decisions to purchase are brought closer to the activity itself. Dairy Holdings is an excellent example of this and the benefits doing so. Digitising invoices and automating the approvals process does this, meaning that purchasing as a whole becomes more efficient and transparent.

It's not difficult to see the business case for moving to a digital accounts payable solution. There are significant benefits for any business, including:

  • Major time savings

  • Huge gains in efficiencies

  • The elimination of error

  • High quality data and integration into the ERP system

  • Improved supplier relationships

Not only that, but if an organisation's employees are spending less time on manual data entry (and chasing around after the errors that a manual process inevitably produces), then they're freed up to spend more time on their core, high-value tasks. It makes their working lives easier, reducing the stress and frustration that is often associated with a lengthy approvals process.

There are a number of solutions available for digitising invoices and automating the approvals process. The trick is to find the one that fits best with your business and its ERP. At Olympic, our goal is to transform the way you work, when it comes to digitisation and automation, our DX2 solution is unique. What makes it stand out?

  • The ability to digitise information from any channel - anything from a paper invoice that's arrived via snail mail, to a PDF, to one that's come from an EDI.

  • Facilitating supplier relationships - suppliers can access DX2 and generate their invoice directly.

  • A collaborative element that enables staff to hold conversations within the system, around the transaction, which improves communication. It's a way of capturing dialogue instead of it taking place outside the system.

  • A ‘digital courier’ that provides a level of exception monitoring and action - the invoice is tracked throughout the process so at any time, a business can tell how many documents are pending, what stage they're at and who is responsible for approving them. If they've arrived via EDI, they can be checked for error or any other issues.

What we're offering with DX2 is a solution that not only makes invoice processing more efficient, but is a way of transforming how effectively companies work in this area. One of the key reasons is user adoption; it's an engaging, easy-to-use system that makes everyone's working life easier and more efficient. And not just for those staff in Finance departments; DX2 can be used effectively by people in all areas, creating a flexible, collaborative environment for invoicing and approvals.

The DX2 solution also offers an analysis function; a business can add analysis to any given transaction that's relevant, making it easier to spot trends and help with decision-making.

We've designed DX2 with the user in mind. The system is easy to use, so it boosts productivity and communication, as well as streamlining your entire invoicing process. It's the ideal solution for your journey to digital transformation.

 

If you're keen to see DX2 in action, you can request a demo. Or, just drop us a line to start a discussion.