AP can be overlooked as a strategic priority, Jackie Risley, director of FileBound marketing at Upland Software, says in a FileBound webinar.
So how can executives be convinced to look at AP more strategically?
The webinar, “Beyond Automation: How Predictive Analytics Add Value to AP,” demonstrates how analytics can raise the perception of the AP process.
“Analytics deliver real insight into your work processes so that you have real-time, actionable data,” she says.
Reporting looks backwards and looks at tactical items. Analytics looks toward the future and is more focused on strategy. For example, reporting will look at how many invoices have been processed in a certain time frame, while analytics will show opportunities to change.
“It’s much more than a visual representation of data that we normally see in tables,” Risley says.
AP automation technologies include workflow and capture. Mobile can also play a role in AP, Risley says, allowing employees to approve forms away from their computer in a BYOD environment.
Automation can have many benefits. Employees can be freed from tedious jobs, such as data entry, to focus on higher value tasks. Automation can help eliminate back logs and lead to fewer late payments.
But few organizations have fully automated their systems.
Less than 10 percent of organizations are highly automated, according to the Institute of Financial Operations 2014 AP Automation Study, meaning they receive less than 10 percent of their invoices on paper. Alternatively, almost 30 percent of organizations say that paper represents more than 90 percent of their invoices.
Analytics can help bring an executive on board to an AP automation project, Risley says. Showing the granular details can help increase the chances a project will be improved.
To learn more about the benefits of analytics and AP automation, watch our webinar.