How cloud technology is revolutionising accounts payable management?
Two lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic taught us were:
- Digitising the Finance and Accounting (F&A) function is crucial for businesses to stay relevant and competitive through crises.
- It is equally crucial to provide dispersed workforces with remote access to F&A data in real time.
Paper documentation and manual workflows belong to the past. Several progressive businesses have already migrated to on-premise servers in the past decade. Cloud computing with the Software as a Service (SaaS) model is taking the digital revolution further by eliminating the need to own and maintain physical data centres.
One area that derives immense benefit from cloud migration is Accounts Payable (AP). In recent years, Accounts Payable on Cloud (APOC) technology has changed the face of AP departments worldwide by streamlining workflows and enabling the end-to-end accounts payable automation process.
Here is how APOC and cloud technology are revolutionising accounts payable management:
End-to-end ap automation in the cloud
The cloud revolution with APOC has enabled businesses to automate hitherto manual and paper-intensive processes such as supplier onboarding, data entry, and invoice routing. This means faster invoice processing, shorter procure-to-pay cycles, high accuracy, and optimised payment schedules.
Progressive AI/ML models can read non-PO statements and identify certain exceptions, minimising human intervention even in non-standard invoices.
Cloud computing spells the economy for AP departments in multiple ways. For instance:
- Cloud solutions operate on the pay-per-use model that suits all pockets.
- SaaS platforms obviate the need for expensive software, license fees, high maintenance costs, and steep upgrades.
- APOC and cloud technology automate invoice processing, reducing the cost-per-invoice to a fourth of manual processing costs.
- With end-to-end accounts payable process automation, business owners can eliminate paper documentation, avoid late payment penalties, and capture early payment discounts.
Cloud migration ensures optimal utilisation of technical and human resources. A key benefit of APOC and cloud technology is centralised technological support, including security, server maintenance, automated upgrades, and regular backups.
Companies that relocate their AP processes from on-premise servers to the cloud drive huge savings on standalone technology costs and can free their human teams for value-added tasks.
Remote access with real-time visibility
With anytime, anywhere access and real-time visibility into critical financial data and KPIs, AP teams have a panoramic view of their payables function and greater control over operations than ever before. This allows them to make better decisions, handle critical situations efficiently, and swiftly respond to changing markets.
It also ensures business continuity and collaboration through crises, no matter where the team members are located – a feat that was unheard of before.
Enhanced security and compliance
Manual processes, easily corruptible spreadsheets, and supplier onboarding with legacy systems significantly increase fraud risk. Cloud technology and APOC platforms enhance security and compliance by –
- Defining user access levels
- Automating supplier onboarding with pre-defined workflow rules
- Flagging anomalies in invoice processing and bookkeeping
- Encrypting sensitive data
- Enabling cross-boundary trade, tax compliance, and digital payments
- Creating audit logs
- Automating software updates, data backups, and security checks
Customising standalone platforms to fit specific business requirements requires expensive software and considerable IT support. With APOC and modern cloud technology, customisation of AP solutions is easy and economical.For instance, AI/NLP models can be trained to read non-standard invoices or provide multilingual support where necessary.
Unlike physical servers, cloud technology can increase or decrease computing, storage, and technical support on demand. With cloud-based solutions, businesses can expand or contract their operations depending on the workload. This is a boon for AP departments that experience sporadic fluctuations in invoice volumes.
With APOC and cloud technology, businesses are leveraging big data to uncover insights, trends, and improvement areas. Analytics-driven decisions not only save costs but also help businesses stay competitive in volatile markets and turn the payables function into a revenue-generating tool.
For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like living organisms will be imperative for business excellence. A comprehensive yet modular suite of services is doing precisely that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.
How can Infosys BPM help?
The Infosys BPM APOC is a future-ready SaaS platform for all your AP automation needs. It leverages next-generation AI/ML technologies to orchestrate your AP workflows and revolutionise your invoice-to-pay process. Intelligent features such as OCR, automated invoice-PO matching, and multilingual support enable you to drive huge savings on time, costs, and effort.
Find out how the Infosys BPM ap automation services can transform your accounts payable process.