Despite significant increases in technology adoption, our recent study with 200 senior finance managers revealed that four out of five finance professionals believe their department struggles to keep pace with the rest of the organisation’s digital advancements. By their own admission, and the opinions of the departments leading digital innovation (most often IT, Sales and Marketing), it seems finance needs to be adopting latest technologies more readily.
This will require a more progressive line of thinking to match the innovation demonstrated by others, and there is significant potential for finance teams to implement leading technologies. For example in spend analysis the artificial intelligence found in software such as web3 Spend Analysis can learn spend patterns and behaviours, such as naming conventions and classifications, and aggregate that learning to build a data set capable of analysing millions of transactions in any number of languages from any source data systems. AI can also detect and correct corrupt, inaccurate or incomplete records in the system.
However, the area with the biggest potential impact for finance is undoubtedly invoice management. To provide some context, our research identified that 60% of supplier invoice data is manually rekeyed during invoice processing. This is resulting in 25% of the time spent by Accounts Payable (AP) being tied up in resolving the subsequent problems from typing in the invoice data manually in the first place! It’s hardly a surprising statistic, considering AP teams are still receiving invoices as they would have done 20 years ago – in the post, as email attachments, and by fax (yes, it is 2018!).
To revolutionise invoice management, organisations can implement eInvoicing. Using this powerful software enables suppliers to seamlessly transmit their invoices, either via a direct integration between their billing system and the buyer’s finance or ERP system, or via a dedicated portal where suppliers can upload invoice data directly using pre-set templates. The result? No need for data to be manually rekeyed by the AP team.
Is eInvoicing really the answer?
We certainly think so! Well that’s the short answer anyway, but the answer lies in the business justification within our research, identifying a reduction in processing costs of over 80% when compared to manual paper processing. We also discovered invoice processing triggers a range of job satisfaction issues in finance teams, with 70% of respondents stating invoice processing is a laborious and uninteresting task.
With eInvoicing, paper-based invoice processing is transformed from a tedious and time-consuming task into a powerful automated process, allowing AP teams to preserve valuable time and resources by eliminating morale crushing administrative tasks such as scanning, filling and data entry. The extra time that is saved by the AP team can then be better invested in the organisation’s higher value and more important tasks such as strategic spend control and supplier management initiatives.
If you would like to find out how your finance team can overcome their invoice management challenges, try downloading our research based guide. You can also find all the benefits of eInvoicing in our web3 eInvoicing product guide. Alternatively, you can get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss anything mentioned in this blog or how web3 can help your finance team.