NEW YORK--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Canon Business Process Services, a leading provider of managed services and technology, understands the priorities for today’s accounts payable (AP) function: reducing costs, enhancing compliance and ensuring accurate and timely payment of invoices. The company is today announcing its recommendations for companies seeking to meet those goals.
Advancements in data capture and workflow automation technology provide new opportunities for AP departments to improve their performance. Many organizations, however, are not leveraging these opportunities.
According to Canon, AP departments that rely on manual, paper-based processes and a decentralized approach face significant obstacles when trying to ensure timely, cost-effective operation. In spite of these challenges, a study by the Aberdeen Group showed that of 150 organizations surveyed, 96 percent still rely on mail and fax machines to process the majority (72 percent) of their invoices1.
To help companies overcome these obstacles and improve their AP function, Canon suggests automating workflow in order to effectively transition from manual, paper-based invoice processing to an automated methodology. Canon provided another recommendation, centralizing and digitizing invoice intake, in an October press announcement.
Automating workflow involves creating a straight-through-processing system that manages invoices from receipt to payment without human intervention. This includes controlling purchase order (PO) and non-PO invoices within any enterprise management software system. Organizations should also consider integrating straight-through-processing with their electronic content management, procurement and mobile-enabled invoice processing systems. Other considerations include line-item matching, a vendor web-based portal and a performance management system to monitor results and help ensure continuous improvement.
The benefits of automating AP workflow can be significant. One example is a bank that centralized invoice receipt and implemented an automated paper-to-digital conversion system. The bank also created an invoice validation workflow procedure that prevents duplicate and otherwise unacceptable invoices from entering the payment system. As a result of these and other changes, the bank’s on-time payment increased from 40 percent to 80 percent.
More details and additional insights on improving accounts payable processing are available in Canon’s white paper, Accounts Payable Services: A Strong Foundation for Sustained Benefits.
About Canon Business Process Services
Canon Business Process Services, Inc. is a leading provider of managed services and technology that enable organizations to improve operational efficiency while reducing risk and cost. Experts apply quality management principles and tools such as Six Sigma to advance performance to a higher level. The company offers services including BPO, imaging, records management, print, mail and eDiscovery, and is an IAOP Global Outsourcing 100 Leader in 2013 for the seventh consecutive year. Based in New York City, Canon Business Process Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc. Learn more at www.cbps.canon.com or follow us on Twitter.
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1. Invoicing and Workflow; Transforming Process Automation into Operational Cost Control, Aberdeen Group 2010