Invoice automation enables businesses to save time, money, and resources. Companies utilizing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions for invoicing can streamline their workflow, eliminate manual data entry, easily manage billing documents, reduce errors, improve security, and price match rapidly.
Traditional invoicing methods are time-consuming and prone to error. In today's fast-paced business environment, companies that rely on paper methods and manual data entry risk falling behind. Fortunately, making the switch to invoice automation is easy. Even better, it delivers recognized ROI immediately.
What is invoice automation?
There are two sides to an invoicing process. Accounts Payable (AP) handles processing all incoming invoices (as PDFs and scanned physical copies) while Accounts Receivable (AR) generates invoices for incoming purchase orders and sends them out to customers. On the AP side, a lack of process automation means employees must read all the information from each invoice, manually type it into their system, and match it to a purchase order. Manual AR tasks include generating each invoice, pairing it with a purchase order, sending it to the customer, and following up for payment.
Traditional accounting methods involve several time-consuming steps, waste a lot of paper, and compromise employees' time and resources. They’re also relatively inefficient and prone to mistakes and miscommunication. With so many payments being processed online, traditional invoicing can expose businesses to security risks as well. Invoicing automation streamlines and secures this process. Automated robotic workers can handle the invoicing workflow from start to finish, helping businesses create and process invoices faster so they can pull in more revenue, re-allocate human capital where it matters, and keep customers happy.
What types of accounting tasks can I automate?
There are a number of accounting tasks businesses can automate. By switching to invoice automation, companies can improve their accuracy, which saves a great deal of time and money. If you're considering making the switch to automated invoicing, here are a few options to consider:
- Data entry. Invoice automation reduces the need for personnel to manually enter data from invoices/purchase orders into your systems. This frees up critical staff and reduces error rates.
- Invoice matching. Companies can automatically match invoices to their supporting documentation, such as purchase orders.
- Invoice coding. Instead of manually coding invoices, companies that use invoice automation can set parameters that enable automated ledger coding. This cuts down on errors that cost time and money.
Benefits of automating your Invoice Process
Switching to automated invoicing can offer businesses a wide range of benefits. These benefits can vary depending on the type of business, but here are several that apply across the board.
- Reduced errors. Eliminating manual data entry reduces errors that can cost businesses money and jeopardize customers relations.
- Faster processing. Automating the invoicing process helps companies send and collect payments in a timely manner, eliminating cash flow problems.
- Money saved on labor. Switching to invoice automation allows companies to handle high volumes without increasing their department headcount, and allows existing employees to be used for more meaningful tasks.
- Decreased environmental impact. Reducing paper waste through invoice automation helps companies achieve green goals, which can foster goodwill in the community.
- Improved relationships with customers. Most consumers are accustomed to automation, which allows them to view invoices and pay them in just a couple of steps rather than receiving invoices through the mail or some other traditional means.
Want to see some real-world results? Here’s an example, based on a case study we developed, to help business leaders understand how invoice automation can deliver tremendous benefits: We helped a behavioral healthcare company completely transform its invoicing process, resulting in a 235% one-year ROI.
Prior to enabling their digital workforce, this company used traditional invoicing methods. They had two full-time employees dedicated to manually creating invoices, sending them to customers, and following-up for payment. This resulted in a backlog of unpaid invoices that cost the company time and money.
After applying automation, they were able to increase capacity by 200%, sending 90 invoices a day, compared to the initial 30. Invoice automation also helped the company reduce its per-invoice cost from $9.06 to just $1.11 (87% cost reduction).
Perhaps the most dramatic benefit can be seen in the company's time-savings. By switching from traditional invoicing to automated invoicing, the company reduced the human time spent by 90%.
Find the right RPA solution for your business
Think your business could benefit from automating its Invoicing function? Schedule a demo with Thoughtful Automation to learn more about our pioneering Bots-as-a-Service model and how we can help your organization begin its automation journey.
About the Author
As a Senior Account Executive at Thoughtful Automation, Anthony Katz has spent the last four years in the automation space, with a heavy focus in manufacturing, logistics, and procurement. Anthony has an engineering background with a business focus through his education at UCLA. He was born and raised in the Bay Area, and currently resides in Santa Cruz CA, enjoying music, fitness, surfing and snowboarding in his free time.