Records Management 101: The Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable Edition

When it comes to AP & AR responsibilities, it’s easy for professionals to become bogged down with administrative work rather than focusing on big picture strategies and developing an automated document workflow that fits their needs. Sometimes it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the work day to effectively process invoices, route documents, verify data, etc…

Accounting professionals are responsible for some of their organization’s most sensitive documents. Most know that they should be moving toward a more strategic process that combines hard copy documents with electronic records and automated workflow, but they’re overwhelmed and don’t have the bandwidth to figure out how to get there.

What type of pain points are you currently experiencing in your AP & AR processes?

•        Overloaded staff
•        Lost records/payments/invoices
•        Lack of visibility
•        Mistakes

 

 

For the foreseeable future, most organizations will operate in a hybrid world of both paper-based and digital information, and must create transformation strategies that address and connect both.

Overall, 50% of organizations surveyed by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) have yet to adopt any automated AP systems. One third of organizations receiving more than 25,000 invoices per month are still using paper-based processes. Finding original purchase orders, customer correspondence, contracts and supporting documentation (proof of delivery, return authorization, vendor corrective action, etc.) is also a difficulty for AR staff. 66% are struggling to find supporting documentation, whether they have a system or not.

So how can you begin to transition your AP and AR processes to a more automated workflow?

1.      Evaluate your current process and set objectives

If you’re following a paper-based or mostly manual process and are noticing certain inconsistencies, missing documents, and mistakes, identify one or two areas that could be improved and set one achievable goal. Here are some ideas to get you started:

“We want to process and approve 50 more invoices per month, but we don’t want to hire extra people or take on any extra costs.”
"We want to continue processing the same number of invoices, but we want to keep a better electronic repository for audits and data analysis.”

2.      Identify which documents can be digitally converted and choose an electronic document management software that fits your needs

Once you set your objectives, decide which types of AP & AR documents can be digitally converted to make processing invoices and supporting documents easier and more efficient.
 

 

 

•         Digitize documents that need to be routed for approval.
•         Start incorporating the use of electronic forms to capture data directly from both internal and external parties.
•         Automate the capture process using recognition technologies to identify and classify inbound information that triggers workflows and notifications.
 

Remember, it’s never too late to start

Look for areas in your organization where you can improve and enhance your AP processes. If you're unsure of where to begin, Record Storage Systems can evaluate your current process and offer a software solution that addresses pain points and frustrations. By implementing smart workflow and automation solutions into your everyday AP processes, you’ll be creating long term solutions to help your organization achieve success, remain competitive, and excel in future business markets.