Beyond the Invoices
Blog: Kofax - Smart Process automation
From requisition to payment to audit, purchase-to-pay offers a prime opportunity for automation
In a recent webinar Amy Fong of the Hackett Group discussed the current drive to achieve agility in purchase-to-pay (P2P), defining “agility” as “the ability to match an organization’s internal rate of change to the rate of change observed in the external environment.”
When it comes to achieving agility in data-driven processes, it is the data itself that presents the greatest challenges. Incoming data is highly fragmented and often unstructured in nature; ERP systems alone can be unsuited to the task of making this data easily managed, manipulated and communicated. Process centralization offers one step towards taming this data while optimizing capabilities for reconciling incoming data with internal resources (as with invoices and purchase orders) offers another.
By their very nature, automation platforms create opportunities to streamline and optimize their ability to consolidate data into a single, standardized input flow at one end, and improved visibility and audit support at the other. According to Fong, P2P, which incorporates two critical back office functions—requisitions and payables—represents an ideal starting point for automation. Typically, a considerable amount of unstructured data is exchanged between buyer and seller, and taming that data simplifies the verification and approval process, invoice processing, resolution of discrepancies, and reporting after the fact.
Automation’s value as a driver of end-to-end efficiency, as opposed to being a mere tool for one small component of the business chain (e.g. invoice processing), holds true similarly when applied to order-to-cash (O2C) and record-to-report (R2R) procedures.earn more about the many ways automation supports end-to-end process optimization across multiple financial operations,