What is AP Automation? Say Goodbye to Manual Processes

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With a projected market value of US$ 6.7 Billion by 2032, AP automation solutions are increasingly vital for organizations seeking to streamline their accounts payable processes, saving time, cutting costs, and minimizing errors.

What is account payable automation?

A solution to revolutionize your AP department operations

Accounts payable (AP) automation revolutionizes the operational landscape of AP departments by eliminating the reliance on manual, time-consuming and error-prone processes.

An AP automation software lets companies streamline their invoice processing, thereby optimizing financial operations and fostering enhanced collaboration among teams. We saw that successful clients who opted for AP automation witness an impressive 80% increase in efficiency.

Traditional AP practices have historically served businesses well. However, modern AP operations require automation to keep pace with rapid business growth.

Implementing AP automation isn’t merely about replacing outdated methods; it’s about realising substantial cost savings, minimizing manual data entry errors, and amplifying overall efficiency. Companies can redirect their focus towards efforts that yield higher returns by reallocating resources previously dedicated to labor-intensive tasks. This facilitates accelerated scalability and gives a better competitive edge.

What are the benefits of accounts payable automation?

Experience 80% increase in efficiency

AP automation offers numerous advantages. Including heightened efficiency, time savings, and costs reduction. Additionally, it improves vendor relationships and enhances visibility and control. Let’s take a deep dive into the primary benefits your organization will gain upon implementing an AP automation solution.

Streamlined Workflow

AP automation reduces manual workloads by automating invoice processing. This frees AP department personnel from repetitive tasks and empowers them to focus on high-value activities.

Fortified Compliance and Audit Trails

By enforcing standardized processes, maintaining meticulous audit trails, and seamlessly integrating with accounting systems, AP automation ensures enhanced compliance with regulatory mandates and internal policies, ensuring control and audit capabilities.

Enhanced Visibility and Control

Accounts payable automation grants real-time visibility into invoice and payment statuses, empowering finance departments to monitor transaction progress, pinpoint bottlenecks, and easily address any arising issues during invoice processing.

Improved Accuracy

Traditional manual data entry poses a risk of errors, potentially causing delays and discrepancies in financial records. Through automated data capture and validation, AP automation mitigates error risks, ensuring precision in both invoice processing and payments.

Dispute Management

AP automation enables prompt issue resolution, promotes effective communication, and facilitates timely payments to suppliers, cultivating trust and improving supplier satisfaction.

Exception Handling

AP automation detects issues within invoices, such as missing information, duplicate entries, pricing discrepancies, or deviations from established business rules. Once an error is pinpointed, the designated approver receives a notification to initiate the the resolution process.

Improved Efficiency

By streamlining the entire AP process, AP automation boosts efficiency, slashing the time and effort needed to manage transactions. This leads to faster processing time and reduced manual workload.

What are AP automation features? What tasks can you automate?

Effortless Efficiency: automate error-prone operations

AP automation software serves as a powerhouse for streamlining many tasks within the AP department. It offers crucial features aimed at lightening the load of the AP department and automating tasks. Let’s explore the key tasks that AP automation software can automate.

Data Recognition

AP Automation scans invoices received in various formats such as PDFs, images, XML, emails and more. While XML invoices are automatically processed, documents received in other formats undergo scanning by an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) engine or AI-powered software, which identifies diverse invoice details.

Invoice Matching

AP automation streamlines the processing of PO-based invoices, automatically matching them against their corresponding purchase order (two-way matching) or against both the purchase order and order receipt (three-way matching).

This functionality is pivotal in AP operations, as it determines whether a supplier invoice should be approved for payment. Automating this process relieves staff members from the need for manual review, requiring intervention only for unmatched details.

Approval Workflows

AP automation empowers a company to accelerate processing lead times through the utilization of predefined approval workflows. Hence an organization can customize these workflows to align with its approval hierarchy, business rules, and compliance requirements.

Additionally, automation enables the sending of notifications or alerts to approvers, informing them of pending invoices awaiting approvals.

Integration with Accounting Systems

Following the approval of invoices, the AP automation software seamlessly syncs with the ERP system to commence payment processing. Then, the system records the approved invoice and schedules payments according to the organization’s payment terms.

For companies utilizing JD Edwards as their ERP system, SCANMAN stands out as the native AP automation solution for JDE EnterpriseOne. SCANMAN AP automation is embedded within JD Edwards, utilizing the same workbench and eliminating the need for additional staff training costs.

How does AP Automation work

Automatic invoice processing

Organizations leveraging AP automation can streamline the entire invoice processing workflow, significantly reducing manual tasks to exception handling only.

When an invoice is received in PDF, Email, Image, or other formats, it undergoes OCR (Optical Character Recognition) processing which extracts data from the invoice. XML invoices, on the other hand, are automatically scanned by the system.

The extracted information is then automatically validated and compared against the ERP master data. Next, the invoice undergoes matching with purchase orders and goods receipts. Or, it is routed to the appropriate team or individual for review and approval.

After completing the invoice processing, the system schedules payments in accordance with the organization’s payment terms, audits all invoices, and securely stores them, ensuring their availability for future financial audits.

Embedded solution vs Stand-alone

Two types of accounts payable automation

There are two primary types of AP Automation solutions: embedded and stand-alone.
An embedded solution seamlessly integrates with the organization’s ERP system, removing data synchronization issues and ensuring decisions rely on a unified source of truth. Installed directly within the ERP environment, this automation matches data in real time against master data, enhancing accuracy and efficiency.

In contrast, stand-alone solutions do not validate data in real-time against the master data. Leading to errors caused by delayed data synchronization. This scenario often requires managing ERP complexities outside of the ERP environment, thereby increasing the risk of errors.

AP Automation for Oracle JD Edwards

Make the most out of your ERP

Accounts payable automation for Oracle JD Edwards (JDE) involves leveraging software solutions to streamline and optimize the AP functions within the JDE environment. This approach offers numerous benefits. Firstly, the AP automation seamlessly extracts invoice data and automatically populates fields within the JDE system, eliminating manual data entry. Secondly, automated workflows can be set up according to predefined rules and hierarchies within JDE, ensuring smooth processing and efficient approval cycles.

Automation ensures compliance with regulatory requirements by enforcing standardized processes and maintaining a detailed audit trail of all transactions within JDE. Therefore, implementing an AP automation for Oracle JD Edwards results in increased efficiency for the organization as a whole.

SCANMAN AP Automation for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

The native accounts payable automation

If your company relies on Oracle JD Edwards, SCANMAN is the AP automation solution you’ve been seeking. As a native solution, SCANMAN seamlessly automates all AP processes within the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne environment.

Fully embedded within JD Edwards, it eliminates data synchronization issues, enabling you to remain within the Oracle stack while ensuring continual updates with the latest JDE functionalities. SCANMAN AP Automation for JD Edwards offers a comprehensive digital solution for processing vendor invoices, efficiently collecting invoice data, and automating approval workflows.

Check out all the SCANMAN AP Automation functionalities, explore its wide range of functionalities and learn how to effortlessly streamline your accounts payable operations for maximum efficiency.

AP Automation Key takeaways

AP automation represents a valuable solution for companies of all sizes and industries, and it is essential for keeping pace with the rapid growth of modern organizations. By minimizing manual processes and paper-based workflows, accounts payable automation significantly boosts efficiency, enabling companies to reallocate resources towards activities with greater potential for returns.

Automating accounts payable processes brings benefits not only for the AP department but for the organization as a whole, facilitating faster scaling and maintaining a better competitive edge.

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