The secret to accounts payable automation

The raison d’ être of technology and digitized transactions is flawless finance processes. Does the technology live up to the promise and what is the secret behind accounts payable automation?

Digitization holds the promise of new capabilities in most aspects of business operations – from meticulous control to fearless expansion:

  • Improved insight and control
  • Better decision making
  • Fewer people involved, better output
  • Improved quality of work

Sustainable and unsustainable automation

The benefits of accounts payable automation are clear enough, and vendors don’t hesitate to take advantage: “Invoice automation!”, “Accounting power!”, “Manage your resources!”, “Fully outsourced services in the cloud!”. You’ve probably seen these promising taglines a thousand times already.

The question that needs to be answered is: does technology live up to the promise?

As a CFO, you are probably aware of the reality. Dysfunctional ERP implementations, disconnect between e-procurement, A/P and accounting software, RPA hassle, and complicated automation settings that manage only the most basic transactions.

The result is nothing more than outsourced bookkeeping and a continuous burden of deviations. We call it unsustainable automation.

Why haven’t we come further? Why isn’t accounting flawlessly automated already?

Here’s the secret. 

The golden rule of automation

The secret to accounts payable automation is to be found in a simple causality – the quality of input data determines how systems, both software-driven and people-driven processes, can manage it.

If the input is flawed due to content or format, the output will be equally flawed. Which, in effect, prevents automation.

Sustainable finance automation boils down to these three axioms;

  1. Accounting is the categorization of information
  2. Categorization of information creates structured data
  3. Structured data is key to automation and digital transaction

Digital transformation must begin with the input data.

Want to start improving your processes? Invoice Shield automates invoice validation and deviation management so you can trust the data in your finance processes – and take the next step in the digital transformation of your business.