• Irina Kavchik

5 signs your Accounts Payable process is outdated and hurts your Business



Accounts payable (AP) is a short-term liability or debt owed to various suppliers. AP process involves receiving invoices from suppliers, making sure they are legitimate and paid on time. It’s easy to say than done.


“As an accounts payable admin, I’m responsible for capturing all the incoming invoices. Then I'm sorting them by payment terms. Followed by the review, match with a PO or credit note, approval and coding to the financial system.

When invoice data is in the system, I can provide useful financial insights and keep track of our current liabilities.”


AP process has many steps so it can bring many flaws along the way. Here are a few signs that your AP process is outdated and hurts your business.


1. You are still printing out invoices


Every printed invoice doubles the work of an accounts payable team. Moreover,

  • Printed invoices provide no quick access to its data. There is no visibility into who and when approved an invoice.

  • It takes time to find an invoice and most often it’s time-consuming. If you are in the middle of the audit, it can be stressful too.

  • It goes through many hands, so it can get lost or tempered.

Ocerra AP automation allows processing invoices in a digital workflow. Say goodbye to paper invoices, and enjoy quick and safe access to your invoice data.


See all your incoming invoices in one safe place. Duplicated invoices will show up in red. Credit notes will show up as a minus amount.

2. There is no approval transparency


Often, there is no visibility into the invoice approval process. If someone is holding an invoice for too long, suppliers will start making inquiries. Someone has to chase approvers and make awkward excuses and promises to suppliers. It disturbs the entire AP process, resulting in late payments. It might hurt your reputation, as well.


Using Ocerra you can set up an approval workflow, and you will know exactly who is holding an invoice. You will be able to see approval notes at a glance.




3. It takes weeks for AP to produce financial information


Manual accounts payable process takes weeks before you can produce any useful financial data. If there is a bottleneck in the AP invoice processing, such as delayed approval or an error, it will take even more time.


An automated AP process makes this data available sooner. Ocerra can provide you with live cash outflow information based on the incoming versus paid invoices.


With Power BI reporting functionality in Ocerra you can forecast outgoing cash and prioritize supplier invoice processing.


4. You are entering invoice data into a system


We all know that labour-intensive tasks such as data entry is time-consuming and expensive. Human errors are adding to the cost of manual AP invoice processing.


The time required to enter 1000 or even 100s of invoices can multiply if you want to keep track of all the line items.


In 2019, manual data entry is unnecessary. Data extraction was automated by computers - decades ago. With the latest machine learning technology, you can auto-extract invoice information, including line description, with up to 90% accuracy.


Are you entering description manually? In Ocerra all this data is auto-extracted for you.

Ocerra can auto-extra not only header data but also line items and totals. It can also process scanned invoices and handle invoice layout shifts.


5. You are refusing to automate


“The most damaging phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way’." (Grace Hopper).


Nothing hurts business as much as people who don’t want to change. You have been doing your accounts payable the same way for the last 5 or more years. You haven’t noticed the technology progress, and your competitors are taking advantage of it. They are saving more time and become more efficient than you. But you are still in the disbelief.


Sometimes, AP staff fears that they will lose their job if the AP process is automated. So they make everything to avoid automation. Indeed, there will be more time available, but they could spent it more strategically. Besides, there is no such AP invoice automation system that can work on its own.


Final words...

With Ocerra, you don’t have to print invoices, enter invoice data or follow up with approvers. You will have better visibility into your accounts payable process and safe access to your invoice data.


You can easily access, review, approve and export invoices to your financial system.


Start a free trial today

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