Cloud technology now makes it possible for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to capitalise on the benefits of AP automation with minimal risks or upfront expenses.
Why SMBs suffer from manual processing
Everything Comes at a Higher Cost
SMBs don’t have the high invoice volume of large enterprises but the time and manpower needed for manual data entry, approval and storage take their toll. Big businesses can manage by simply adding staff and easily absorbing the cost. Cash strapped SMBs, on the other hand, are forced to handle invoices with limited personnel even though their volumes may be growing.
There Is Much Less Room for Error
Businesses who process their invoices manually are proven to experience a higher rate of errors (e.g., duplicate payments, late payments and overpayments). Where larger enterprises typically have enough strength to withstand the fallout from a damaged supplier relationship or wait for the repayment of a double paid invoice, the majority of SMBs has no such luxury.
Improving Is Easier Said Than Done
Unlike bigger businesses, a lot of SMBs run small or industry specific ERP systems or home grown legacy solutions. The complexity of such a setup can cause SMBs to think their AP infrastructure is too complex or difficult to change. What’s more, the general lack of visibility due to manual processing makes it difficult to forecast expenses and identify areas of improvement.
Why Cloud-based automation is an ideal solution
No New Hardware or Software Investments
Regardless of format, scanned or electronic invoices are entered into an automated workflow where an intelligent image recognition technology accurately extracts all data. Captured data is checked against ERP master data and dispatched to the appropriate managers for approval. The invoice is automatically archived in a web portal and linked back into the ERP application and available for as long as needed.
Predictable Pricing via Pay-Per-Use Model
Cloud automation operates on a pay-per-use pricing model, meaning users only pay for the amount of service used. This not only gives SMBs some much-needed pricing predictability, it offers a tremendous level of flexibility for variations in invoice volume and users.
Unified AP Workflow Outside the ERP System
A unique feature of cloud-based AP automation solutions is that workflow resides outside of the ERP system. This provides users anytime, anywhere access to invoices, promotes user acceptance, simplifies training, and helps maintain business continuity during IT landscape changes.
To learn more about cloud-based accounts payable automation, download Esker’s eBook.