No one likes watching the time tick by – waiting on something before you can move forward with your work. BUT you also need that extra pair of eyes on the end-of-month P&L statement so if there are any issues, they get addressed before becoming gospel in the company checkbook. You wait, bouncing your knee, tapping your pen on the desk, while nervously checking your email again, and again… and once more.
Sure, you could accomplish busy work like organizing or filing, but that’s not satisfying, and it certainly won’t help you meet your deadlines or contribute to the company’s bottom line. Did you know it takes an average of $22.75 to process a single invoice using manual processes – why do that, when there are cheaper, alternative methods?
You get the picture, right? In many organizations, perhaps including the one you work for, manage, or even run, you’ll find that the approval process wastes a lot of unnecessary time. In the accounting world, every moment is precious. You’ve only got so much time to keep the books current, while also generating predictive reports and analytics for what’s to come. The expectations have never been higher – are you prepared to step up to the plate?
Let’s go over exactly HOW you can speed up document approvals and make your job easier. After all, given the right set of tools, by working less, you can do more.
Expediting Document Approval Accounting Tips
If you’re in the accounting industry, you already know that a high volume of transactions need to clear effectively, with little to no error.
Here are some tidbits you can implement to help speed things along, while also avoiding costly errors:
- Send documents at the same time every week: Condition your managers to get a gut feeling as to when a document is coming – feel free to try and ring a bell every time they need to approve something (it worked for Dwight – though instead of approvals, he got lots and lots of Altoids...).
- Delegate: Evaluate your staff (which of them tends to pull their weight and then some), and try to divvy up responsibilities so not all the weight is on one person.) Though, if we’re being honest, a lot of it probably falls on you.
- Cross your fingers: There’s just so much to do… you can only cross your fingers and hope while you were inputting everything in the spreadsheet that an error didn’t happening even though your eyes were crossing from strain.
Okay, so those are meant to be farfetched and over-the-top, because although there are ways you can pinch pennies and make it work, is it really sustainable? Chances are, if you’re having issues with a paper-based process in accounting, it’s the system you need to overhaul, not the tiny day-to-day activities.
Here’s how you can really make a difference and expedite approvals:
Making Document Approval Easy with Accounting Automation
Your issues and drivers are clear – high transaction volumes, complex reviews and approvals, and multiple touch points – but what isn’t always clear is a solution. It can appear elusive and like there’s no time to fix it with current business processes in place.
If you haven’t heard of accounting automation, then you’re in for a treat, and even better than that, a solution. Expedite and simplify what you do on a daily basis. Accounting automation reduces process costs, improves the speed of your transactions, and improves the accuracy of data entry.
Automating the invoice process happens in 3 easy steps:
- Capture: Scan invoices and documents automatically. The software extracts header and line item details, which become available immediately in your system, having been auto-indexed appropriately
- Authorize: Online invoice routing gets approvals routed to the necessary employees/managers quickly. Also, mobile device access means things can get approved anytime, from anywhere
- Pay: Get early payment discounts from the newfound processing speed. This allows you to increase your return on investment and be more cost-effective in your daily accounting operations
How It Works
Once a document is scanned and indexed, the system enlists the help of workflow automation to route tasks and notify the necessary employees.
Using a Robotic Accounting Automation (RAA) system, you can reduce the time needed for approvals and push the pedal to the metal.
Before: Tom would need to open snail mail, search, identify, and sort invoices. THEN he could begin gathering approvals (which can change from person to person all the time), send reminders for approvals, escalations, find vendors, and finally, aggregate the data. It shouldn’t be this difficult or frustrating.
After, using RAA: Tom has increased capacity in his process with help from accounting automation, which executes at an unrelenting pace with human-like purpose, all while not interrupting Tom. For example, the system monitors his inbox for incoming documents, extracts them, and then enters them into the system, along with important values like invoice ID, PO number, etc. – these values get populated into an invoice review form, along with other values from Tom’s ERP/other databases.
After the documents and all of their metadata are securely stored in the repository, the appropriate documents are routed from person to person. This ensures compliance requirements are met and that everyone has exactly what they need in order to get their job done. Tom is productive and is no longer chasing approvals around the office. The price of processing each invoice goes from $22.75 down to $3.34.
See, that wasn’t so bad, right?
You can start seeing results from accounting automation in typically less than a year. Would you like to learn more? Feel free to schedule a free demo with us, or check out our resources for more information!