15 Jul 2015
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Accounts payable pain points for Kiwi SMBs

By Shannon Williams

Many Kiwi businesses are unaware they have data siloed across departments and systems, when they think they have automated their accounts payable systems. 

That’s the view of Matt Goss, managing director ANZ for Concur, who says businesses need to streamline their accounts payable processes. 

Goss says siloed data means accounts payable departments need to work harder to process invoices and retrieve related information. He says streamlining AP processes can improve invoice workflows and approval processes, providing a holistic view of company spend. 

“Businesses may think they have an automated AP system because they have implemented workflow for invoice approval and reduced the number of manual checks,” Goss says.

“However, an AP department isn’t automated unless your system is integrated across every department, providing maximum visibility of data for line of business managers, the accounts team and executives.” 

Concur has identified the five signs that indicate it’s time to rethink the company’s AP systems. 

1) Whose desk is it on?  Goss says organisations that don’t have monitoring and reporting systems may find it difficult to understand how many invoices have been received and are awaiting payment. 

2) Is the invoice approved?  It is time consuming for AP departments to determine whether an invoice is in the approval process and ready to be paid without visibility of where and whom an invoice is with, Goss says. 

3) Can more money be saved?  AP departments without streamlined processes often need to do more manual work to see the aggregated spend, says Goss. “This makes it more difficult to take advantage of supplier discounts.” 

4) Can more time be saved?  Automated systems can help cut down cycle time and let employees review invoices faster. This not only saves time but can also help the business receive early payment discounts. 

5) Where are the right people?  “Finding the right person to approve an invoice can add weeks to the process cycle,” Goss says. “A streamlined process has a clear workflow that lets employees know who to pass payments on to.” 

Goss adds, “A streamlined AP process automatically matches open invoices, credits and on-account payments to ensure that organisations have a clear view of payments pending.” 

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