Automating as many processes as possible through an integrated solution, which optimally manages these tasks, results in a directly proportionate decrease in opportunities for human error while increasing the opportunities for savings and improved efficiency. Even collections can be managed automatically, sending the corresponding overdue notices as certain pre_defined thresholds are reached. Furthermore, when companies employ this technology, they are motivated to digitalize other documents, thus achieving efficiency and savings in additional areas of the business. Control of taxes is also increased with electronic billing because it allows for greater control over tax compliance and simplifies the auditing process.
The decision to automate Accounts Payable _ Their Accounts Payable (AP) department consisted of 13 people processing in the region of 180ꯠ invoices per year from suppliers across Europe. Invoices need to be approved by 250 individuals from 3 offices in the UK, 11 depots and 2 manufacturing plants, in addition to users in mainland Europe.
Another outcome is an increase in efficiency; the AP department can instantly find an invoice without having to waste time chasing the business users. With approximately 70% of the invoices now matching the PO immediately, a considerable amount of invoices only require scanning, after which the process is entirely automated. This efficiency has directly resulted in a reduction in the number of people required in the Accounts Payable department; before the system was installed the team consisted of 13 people and there have been reductions in headcount, as the AP manager substantiates: "The IMS system has increased efficiency in our Accounts Payable department to such an extent that on full implementation we expect to reduce our headcount by 4."