Accounts payable: busy work? Or critical business function?
Accounts payable processes are highly transactional and typically very labor intensive. Invoice processing for accounts payable consists of time-consuming tasks which makes poor use of internal resources in an increasingly challenging labor market. Although accounts payable (AP) can seem like back office busy work - but in reality it's the backbone of an organization. Outsourcing AP front-end functions can be beneficial – if you choose a partner who can meet your needs. Experts at Ricoh have compiled solution values to look for when you're considering a business process outsourcing (BPO) partner.
Business rules exception processing
There are many common problems in invoice processing that pose challenges for AP departments and they often result in missed early payment discounts, late payment fees, vendor conflicts and lost revenue. These problems are often amplified for larger organizations with more than one AP platform and decentralized purchasing. Some of these challenges and possible fixes:
Duplicate invoice identification: stop paying a vendor more than once by automating the identification of duplicate invoices based on a comparison of data on incoming invoices to invoices already paid.
Unapproved vendors: most AP departments are not set up to pay invoices coming in from vendors who have provided goods and services to their organization if the vendor is not set up in their system and registered as an approved vendor. A strong BPO solution should be able to provide an automated response to these unregistered vendors and provide them with the link to register and instructions on how to resubmit their invoice, saving the AP department time and having to deal with angry or frustrated vendors.
Duplicate vendors: it is common that vendor databases have the same vendor listed multiple times with multiple contact names, addresses and account numbers. Automated processes can help to efficiently identify multiple vendors with similar names that are causing inaccuracies when matching incoming invoices to the correct account.
Centralize accounts payable
Factors like mergers and acquisitions or high growth that leads to expanding locations result in decentralized accounts payable systems and multiple AP platforms, each with its unique set of business rules and exceptions – and multiple headaches. When you find yourself dealing with this type of chaos, you may be short on required resources to help consolidate or replace the multiple platforms as you are too busy taking care of the day-to-day issues caused by the situation. Outsourcing the 'chaos' will free up the time of the subject matter experts on staff, to help solve and plan for an improved and integrated system.
RICOH AP BPO
Our AP BPO manages your entire process, designs a solid strategy and uses a unique blend of intelligent capture and AP automation that meets your needs. Based on your specific accounts payable processing requirements, we manage each step along the way.
Benefits of AP automation
Efficiency, cost savings and control
Scalability for peaks and valleys
Speed of implementation: go live within 30-60 days
Cost controls and reductions: replace variable costs with fixed costs
Virtually eliminate paper and disconnected systems across the accounts payable process
Efficient managing and converting of incoming vendor invoices
Increased financial and procurement visibility to analytics based on valuable reporting
Little-to-no support needed from your IT department
No replacing your accounts payable systems – we help them perform better
Offload the burden of day-to-day AP management
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