Lack of visibility into invoices and documents is cited in 45% of cases as the leading driver for change by companies looking at reducing the inefficiencies in their accounts payable departments, according to research made by the Aberdeen Group published in their report; “AP Invoice Management in a Networked Economy.”
The best in class companies in the Aberdeen report found that their costs were just 20% of the laggard companies for invoice processing and that it took them just 25% of the time. These companies are renowned for investing in technology that enabled the automation of invoice receipt and workflow processes, integrating this technology into their ERP systems.
For Sage 50 Accounts, Sage 200 Business Suite and Sage 200 Extra Online, PaperLess has enabled best in class organizations to put an end to inefficiencies by automating processes from the moment documents are received. Taking these actions ensured that these companies had the capability to manage a centralised invoice management process, match purchase invoices with purchase orders, receipts and contract documentation.
The increasing importance of document management within the UK market is clearly visible when we have one of the main players in the Norwegian market – PaperLess Europe – fully integrating its software with Sage 50 Accounts, Sage 200 Business Suite and Sage 200 Extra Online. Torben Halvorsen, responsible for PaperLess in the UK market, considers that “accounting professionals across the UK are now starting to realize the importance that process automation plays in companies’ success, something that throughout Scandinavia, particularly in Norway, is already common practice and that here, in the UK, is still yet to be fully embraced.”
The Aberdeen report considers that the two main technologies adopted by best in class organisations are electronic approval workflow and image repository for invoice archival, which Torben Halvorsen considers to be in line with what his experience tells him. However, Torben adds that Automatic Invoice Recognition is the basis of the entire automation process and so must be considered as the key feature over which all others operate.
For any company wanting to eliminate inefficiency in accounts payable processing, getting the right software is vital. Torben considers that the danger lies here, having customers choosing software that is not fully integrated with their accounting system which, instead of making processes simpler and faster, will in fact do the opposite.
Torben believes that “if customers choose the right software the cost savings and increase in productivity levels are immediate,” adding that “with more than 1700 installations across Europe PaperLess’ client retention rate is over 90%, which I feel clearly demonstrates the satisfaction levels that we are able to achieve.”