Gone are the days when we attribute automation strictly to the manufacturing industry. It’s in every industry now and can be used by any business with the right software. Digital process automation is a tool that businesses of all sizes can use to transform operations and automate workflows across a variety of sectors. In the workplace, it reduces human errors and increases productivity on higher-value tasks like innovation and creativity. You know, the fun stuff that has the potential to generate higher revenues and profitability for a company.
Sage Intacct’s accounts payable (AP) automation frees up number crunchers to do more meaningful and challenging work that provides value to the business, like building relationships and providing superior financial advice. AP automation is the process by which accounts payable activities are digitalized using technology tools. These activities include removing the manual paperwork associated with invoicing, approvals, purchase orders, data entry, reporting, payments, and so much more.
Let’s look at two of our favorite trends AP automation brings to the accounting world:
Accountants don’t go to school for four years and then study for an obscene amount of time to pass the CPA exam, only to do data entry in their first professional accounting job. Yet, unfortunately, it’s expected that data entry comes with the territory. Let’s change that! 70% of businesses have reported a strong ROI when adding automation to their accounting process.
Sage Intacct offers a way to relieve the pressure of manual data entry and the bottlenecks it brings to the AP process. Sage Intacct’s AP automation simplifies and streamlines invoice approvals by moving the entire process to the cloud. Your team isn’t stuck doing the work manually because it electronically sends invoices through its approval routes using strong internal controls that ensure compliance and audibility. Everyone can access the centralized Sage Intacct AP system and tools wherever they have Internet access, on the road, at home, or in the office, so delays or missing approvals are a thing of the past.
Accounting is so much more than just numbers and math. Sage Intacct’s AP process ensures team members can analyze and form decisions using the same real-time data. It also simplifies gathering data, improves operational efficiency, and reduces the risk of errors from manually compiling information scattered around different systems, various emails, and Excel spreadsheets. Sage Intacct is a single source of truth that provides full visibility and detailed reports of all your AP data through data visualizations (aka dashboards, easy to analyze graphs, etc) and insights that guide informed decisions.
Sage Intacct’s rich custom reporting features, like the chart of account dimensions that can be used for location, customer, item, employee, vendor, and more, allow for better organization. You also have more flexibility to create reports around whatever unique metrics are necessary to your company, rather than being stuck with out of the box options. Drill, filter, or sort complex financial data to eliminate the need of looking outside Sage Intacct to get answers for tough-to-solve business questions.
Stewart Butterfield, the Canadian billionaire businessman, best known for co-founding Flickr, the photo-sharing website, and Slack, the team-messaging app, certainly knew what he was talking about when he said, “There's a lot of automation that can happen that isn't a replacement of humans but of mind-numbing behavior.” With the talk of the town right now seemingly focused on the problems with artificial intelligence chatbots, like ChatGPT, this quote is a nice reminder of the benefits automation can bring.
Intelligent automation isn’t just a technology buzzword or the flavor of the month. It’s actually a pretty big deal, and it’s not going anywhere. It can help businesses become more profitable in today’s technology-focused world. By 2024, it’s expected that organizations will lower operational costs by 30% using automation technologies. What this means is that automation allows your business to become more agile, sustainable, and competitive with less work and headaches.
We just briefly touched on the benefits AP automation brings to accountants, like reducing manual data entry and enhanced reporting. If pricing is an issue, these two benefits alone easily cover the cost of implementing Sage Intacct in your business. The other benefits are just the cherry on top and you can count on them to maximize your ROI in the years to come. If you’d like more information on how Sage Intacct’s AP automation would look in your company, reach out to our technology experts so we can get a conversation started.