Infographic – AP Automation Checklist

By Optiform Blogger, April 16, 2019


A Checklist to Use For Your Accounts Payable Automation Projects

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are here because you are researching ways to become more efficient when processing invoices. You’re in a great spot. When considering an Accounts Payable department digital transformation project, planning ahead and ensuring that you understand how impactful the implementation will be on your organization is critical to project success.

Let us share eight pointers that you should account for in the planning process. This handy infographic can also help you get the rest of the team on board.

  • Measure:
    • Determine the number of invoices that your company processes daily.
    • If you have more than one Accounts Payable department, be sure to take into consideration each department.
    • If you have invoices that enter your process from multiple venues, be certain to consider all entry points; email, snail mail, upload, imported, etc…
    • Are all the invoices entering your organization in English or do you need to consider international languages?
    • Are your AP teams international? If so, you’ll also need to seek a solution that can support the languages which your team communicates in.
  • Calculate:
    • ROI is going to be a selling point for your project. Work to determine the cost per invoice processed in your current process.
    • How many AP team members do you have?
    • What is their hourly rate?
    • How long does it take them to match the invoice with the purchase order manually?
    • If there is a correction or exception, how long does that take to process?
    • How many data entry errors occur with the manual process and how does that affect the quality of the data?
    • How accessible is your data if you were audited and needed to provide a report in a short timeframe to prove compliance?
  • Predict:
    • Hopefully one of the reasons that you are considering automation is that it does offer transparency in the entire accounts payable process. Being able to identify the stage which each vendor’s invoice is in throughout the process is huge. If an invoice is sitting on a desk of a busy AP clerk, the visibility is only as great as the organization of the paper process.
  • Review:
    • Who will be leading the change?
    • Review the players in the AP and IT teams.
    • Who will be responsible for managing the implementation?
    • Which roles will evolve into something critical to supporting the digital transformation?
    • Who is needed to approve steps in the workflow?
    • Identify all these roles and get the people in place to support the initiative.
  • Discuss:
    • This implementation will be groundbreaking internally and externally.
    • Discuss with your team current issues that your customers have voiced.
    • Learn what your team feels could be improved upon with the elimination of manual steps.
    • Come together to make the project a success by empowering the team to see the benefits of this transformation.
  • Integrate:
    • Evaluate all systems that may need to integrate with the AP automation.
    • What is your mailroom’s function in Accounts Payable? This is also a great opportunity to consider transforming your mailroom.
    • Which scanners will be used for paper invoices?
    • Where do your PO’s originate?
    • After an invoice is captured and the data matched and approved, will the invoice be stored in an Enterprise Content Management solution? What are the criteria for approval for payment in SAP?
    • Be sure that your AP automation software is backend agnostic like ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices is so you can customize the software completely.
  • Plan:
    • Simliar to the Integrate point above, plan ahead and know all the systems which need to be involved.
  • Learn:
    • Interview other companies who have gone through this process.
    • If your company has tried to automate before and failed, host a lessons learned session and understand why.
    • Ask lots of questions – interview your software vendor, your document scanner vendor, your peers. Be prepared!

Download the Accounts Payable Automation Checklist Infographic

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Optiform offers a broad spectrum of data processing solutions customized to fit any business need. From human resource departments to the information produced through clinical trials, Optiform has a long history of maximizing the efficiency of all its clients. Optiform is here to provide  personalized support and recommendations both pre and post project, to ensure your long-term satisfaction and paper-free results. Contact us today to set up a personalized one-on-one consultation for software and business process recommendations. Already a valued Optiform client? Our customer support is ready to help.