Rapid growth and promises of innovation from new C Suite hires and legacy processes usually end up in a headache for the accounting team. Buzzwords alone are not enough to bring about meaningful change.
Often, it is difficult for companies to abandon old operations, despite their best intentions. Manual accounting practices cause many problems for accounting departments: long payment times, cash flow bottlenecks, and
The good news is that there is one underlying issue that is causing all of these problems. Once that is fixed, the AP can experience a true digital transformation.
This root problem is the lack of spending visibility.
Without seeing spending, CFOs and AP teams end up sifting through redundant vendor purchases and manual billing through inefficient processes that take days or weeks. As a result, the company loses time that could have been devoted to high-value activities.
Why spend vision?
More than just another tracking mechanism, spending visibility allows CFOs and other decision makers to see how money is moving throughout the organization in real time.
Organizations can achieve spending visibility by combining electronic invoicing, digital payments, and automation. First, the combination of digital invoicing and payments provides the ability to get paid in real time, without the extensive manual processing that drains energy and resources from your accounting department.
But it’s the automation aspect — real-time matching, reconciliation, and insight into how customers or vendors interact with your invoices — that provides long-term value.
For AP and finance professionals, understanding how money moves through the organization as a whole and how employees, suppliers, and customers interact with payments allows you to develop effective strategies.
However, finance professionals are faced with the issue of transferring the real investment potential in expense management technology. Other stakeholders may see the AP digitization initiative as a “purchase of another program” rather than investing in a long-term tool to reduce cost and build revenue across the organization.
As with any investment in new technologies, there is an up-front cost of time and money to set up your program and train your team. If you can choose a high-quality software that is best in class, that is the least expensive in the long run. Consider this example:
Manual invoicing averages around $10, but can be as high as $21, not including debugging. Ideally, the best AP automation software should cost about
When combined with highly effective and accurate levels of automation, a significant cost reduction gives you and your team absolute visibility, and therefore control of your company’s spending. And because your team also spends less time on manual data entry tasks, skilled accounting professionals can now focus on mission-critical tasks.
Strategy through vision
At the end of the day, accounting teams aren’t set to handle paperwork, especially in the age of automation. The feasibility of the company’s strategy and business model stems from having sound financial management.
For this reason alone, insight can help CFOs provide information about how well spending aligns with company goals. Your accounting team can determine which vendors best help the company achieve key milestones, which products generate the most revenue after subtracting previously hidden costs, and how best to reorganize the company’s financial structure or budget. In other words, from T&E expenses to vendor invoices and incoming payments – your team can see everything from a top-level, granular perspective.
In addition, expense management automation provides a system to reduce or eliminate the risks of fraud and human error. This feature ensures that you remain compliant and allows you to avoid heavy fines.
the question is no Why automation, but when. This time frame is rapidly closing for most companies.
The future of accounting is here
As is the case today, adoption of AP automation adds a competitive advantage. But this will not be the case in the near future. To stay ahead of the market, what you do today is critical. Costs hidden due to lack of visibility will continually drain your resources if not corrected through automation.
Without spending visibility, it’s impossible to make informed decisions about your business and predict your company’s future. Those who choose not to reinvest in the cornerstone of their business — the accounting department — will bleed revenue, no matter how many sales they close.
The good news is that most automation software is quick to integrate into your workflow. Premium programs can help you get started in four weeks and work seamlessly with your ERP system. This means that the learning curve is slight – an important consideration when choosing the ideal spending visibility solution.
At Gorilla Expense, we offer a best-in-class expense management system that provides complete visibility on a PCI compliant platform. Trusted by Toyota, Jim Henson, the US Travel Association, and more, we provide in-depth analysis on an easy-to-use platform.
but finding The The right platform for your company is more important than just research a a program.