Maximize Efficiencies with Purchase-to-Pay Process Automation (SERIES: Part 3 of 5)
Want to increase profits through more efficient operations? Business process automation for your purchase-to-pay processes will get you there.
There’s no better time to implement business process automation — called BPA and also known as digital transformation — to up-level your business and set the stage for transformational growth.
Business process automation is at the top of to-do trends for 2022. Forbes has tagged automation as 2022’s #2 biggest business trend and the #1 tech trend that will dominate business in the coming year.
In this third blog of a 5-part series on business process automation, I’ll take a high-level look at how you can increase efficiencies and cut costs with purchase-to-pay process automation, including sharing the top 22 benefits for your business.
If you need a bit of background, read the first blog in the series, “Big Benefits of Business Process Automation,” to learn about what business process automation is, why you need it now, and where to get started.
Purchase-to-Pay Process Automation
Purchase-to-pay (P2P) process automation significantly improves spend visibility — and, as a result, improves control — while eliminating manual steps to reduce errors and improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Specifically, purchase-to-pay process automation impacts the complete process from vendor approval all the way through disbursements, including:
- Vendor Approval
- Purchase Orders (including direct vs. indirect spend)
- Inventory Control
- Accounts Payable
Automating the entire P2P process — instead of a single workflow — not only eliminates human error and delays throughout, it ensures adherence to best-practice workflows and boosts visibility, accuracy, and speed from start to finish.
Benefits of Purchase-to-Pay Process Automation
The top-line benefits of purchase-to-pay process automation are control, efficiency, and effectiveness — combined, they add up to g-r-o-w-t-h for your business.
With P2P automation, you’ll have complete visibility to all spending. You’ll gain speed and agility. You’ll improve regulatory, policy, and budget compliance. You’ll reduce costs — and costly errors. And you’ll free your team from repetitive tasks so they can focus on adding value in strategic areas that will advance your business.
Here are the Top 22 benefits of purchase-to-pay process automation:
- Gain visibility to all spending in one place
- Eliminate tedious, repetitive manual tasks
- Improve budget, policy, and regulatory compliance
- Reduce data entry time
- Eliminate data entry errors
- Reduce cost per invoice
- Mitigate fraud
- Increase invoices processed per hour
- Improve staff productivity
- Streamline workflow
- Enhance budgeting and forecasting processes
- Enforce spending policies
- Empower staff focus on higher-level priorities
- Streamline approval processes
- Create a comprehensive audit trail
- Reduce reimbursement times
- Minimize vendor risk
- Eliminate paper invoices
- Improve vendor relationships
- Take advantage of early payment discounts
- Boost staff morale, satisfaction, and retention
- Restructure or reduce administrative costs
Combined, these benefits position your business to save money, improve performance, scale for growth, and stay competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. In short, automating the P2P process can transform a cost center into more of a profit center.
Technology Tools To Consider
When you’re ready to level-up and leverage purchase-to-pay process automation to grow your business, you’ll need the right technology. A seasoned industry-specific consultant, like our team at Fahrenheit, can help you explore options and get your new system up and running as soon as possible.
For purchase-to-pay process automation, technology options include:
- ACH electronic funds transfer
- Try: National Processing or PaySimple
- Optical character recognition
- Outsourced disbursement
- Try: Bill.com, Paymerang, NextProcess, traditional banks, and self-service portals
- T&E and purchasing card platforms and integration
- Try: Expensify, Concur Expense, Certify Expense, banks, and credit card companies
- Automated Workflow Approvals and Routing
- Software integration with ERP
- Try: Proactis, Stampli, CoreIntegrator, and Certify AP
If you’re ready to spend smarter and save money with purchase-to-pay process automation, make it a priority this quarter. And remember, Fahrenheit is here to help.
Stay tuned as I take a closer look at two remaining core processes — Hire to Retire and Financial Statement Close and Reporting — in the coming weeks, sharing insights that will help you leverage business process automation to up-level your business.
To learn more about business process automation of sales orders, check out the second blog in the series “Why Automate Customer Orders to Cash.”
Let’s get started! To find out how Fahrenheit can help you leverage the power of business process automation to accelerate your progress and find the straightest path forward, contact us today to learn more about what our team of seasoned, C-level executives and consultants can do for you.
About the Author
Keith Middleton is a Co-Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Fahrenheit Advisors. He oversees the firm’s consulting and fractional services, as well as risk management and operations. He is a member of Fahrenheit’s Leadership Team. A seasoned corporate finance executive, Keith’s expertise in organizational strategy and a newfound passion for entrepreneurism has helped Fahrenheit expand across multiple service lines and geographies.