One of the key factors for preventing fraud and noncompliance in handling your organisation’s cash involves how well your accounts payable department can monitor payment activity. While this should be a given, considering that a big share of the money flowing out of your organisation goes through AP’s hands, we wanted to see if, in fact, that level of transparency is generally available.
Our partners, Hyland Software, in collaboration with the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM), surveyed more than 300 accounts payable professionals to see how well they can:
- View a log of all activities associated with AP processes and who performed them
- Detect process violations within AP and determine who committed them
The overall picture
This graph shows the aggregate responses from those surveyed:
As a group, more than two out of three respondents could see an AP activity log and who performed which processes. However, their ability to react to process violations divided them into three almost evenly sized groups — fast, neutral, or slow.
The fact that more than six out of 10 of those surveyed couldn’t immediately detect AP process violations or identify those who had committed them is particularly worrisome when you consider the potential outcome is fraud or noncompliance with laws and regulations. Either of these can have a negative financial impact to an organisation, eroding its bottom line.
Does automation help?
You’d assume that practitioners with more significant and sophisticated AP automation would be in a better position to monitor AP processes and violations of them, but is that the case?
Let’s take a look at the data split out by level of AP automation.
While all survey participants, regardless of their degree of automation, are on relatively even footing when it comes to seeing a detailed AP activity log, it’s apparent that greater automation does a markedly better job of flagging process violations and revealing who committed them.
You can make a solid case that a detailed log of general AP activities is useful and should be a given for any automation solution. Being able to jump on process violations as quickly as possible is absolutely essential to protecting your organisation’s cash — from fraud, errors, and potentially costly compliance fines and penalties.
If you’re concerned about what you don’t know in terms of who’s following the process and who isn’t, look to your AP automation solution. It should go beyond simply paying invoices by providing you with a high level of business intelligence about your workflow as it relates to compliance and security.
Hyland and IOFM have partnered to create the AP Control Panel, a first-of-its-kind tool that lets you evaluate your AP department’s level of control over operations, cash flow, compliance, and security.
By embracing AP Automation you can help create a competitive edge for your business. If you’d like to talk to one of our consultants about implementing an AP solution for your business, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This article originally appeared on Hyland.com. Inpute Technologies are proud partners of Hyland in Ireland. Our team of certified OnBase professionals are available to discuss your document content and case management and workflow requirements. OnBase, by Hyland is a single enterprise information platform for managing content, processes and cases. OnBase has transformed thousands of organisations worldwide by empowering them to become more agile, efficient and effective.