Accounts Payable Automation: The solution finance departments can’t afford to ignore

For many education institutions, the accounts payable and finance departments face increasing workloads, along with pressures to get invoices processed quickly and efficiently. Although many areas of schools, colleges and universities are investing in digital processes to help increase efficiencies, many finance teams are still relying on traditional paper methods. This approach is no longer time or cost effective and can lead to errors, slow processing times and the need for space to store documents.

With the Government’s pledge to go paperless by 2020 there is still a lot of work to do. Recent research from AIIM shows that 42% of organisations still rely on paper for business functions and within that 34% report that their most important business content is referenced and filed as paper.

As 2020 approaches, education managers will face pressure to focus on eliminating paper processes across all areas where it’s no longer required and to invest in automated and digital services. Kefron, the information and document management specialist, can bring multiple benefits to finance teams with its Automated Accounts Payable (AP) service.

Kefron’s Automated AP solution is a cloud-based platform for the management of data and document processing and automated workflow that works alongside existing accounting software. With G-Cloud 9 status and ISO 27001 Information Security accreditation, Kefron’s cloud platform offers secure 24/7 processing and complete scalability.

The service works through data capture and scanning, allowing the information to be uploaded automatically and eliminating the need for manual input, saving staff time which can be used on other tasks. As a result, the invoice processing times, paper or digital, are decreased leading to cost savings. The AIIM research found that almost a third of those using automated solutions cited increased productivity as the biggest benefit it brought to them.

The automation process also improves accuracy as it decreases errors associated with human touch points. This streamlines the process and gives customer satisfaction and confidence that invoices are accurate.

The application provides complete and instant visibility to anyone authorised to view the documents. Anyone with access can immediately view the invoices and approve payments, increasing visibility, accountability and providing greater control of the AP process. The cloud based service also allows users to access documents remotely across devices including smartphones, laptops or tablets, allowing invoices to be approved or processed even when team members aren’t in the office.

The paperless system also saves on physical office space as there is no longer a need for paper invoices to be stored. The data capture and scanning system means that there are fewer duplicate invoices and fewer that are lost or misfiled.

Kristina Russell, UK Sales Manager, Kefron said: “Many areas of businesses are starting to go digital, however some functions, such as accounts payable, have fallen behind and continue to use more traditional methods such as manual input and processing. As a result, invoices can have errors, get lost or misfiled. Kefron’s service eliminates all of this whilst saving the team’s time and costs.

“Busy finance teams can’t afford to ignore how automation can bring multiple benefits to their day to day working, especially as Government pressure will increase over the next two years. Whilst initially some team members may be apprehensive to go digital once they see how much easier it makes their tasks and wish they had used the service earlier!”.

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