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Large-sized aged care service providers benefit tremendously from procure-to-pay automation as they typically manage complex procurement needs across numerous sites. Automation ensures things run smoothly, whereas manual business processes are inherently unreliable and inefficient.

While some organisations have partial automation through their ERP, many still require accounts payable staff to perform compliance checks on invoices and manually enter data into the finance system. This is time-consuming and, consequently, an expensive process. By completely automating accounts payable, aged care service providers can achieve the following:

      •    Save on back-office costs

An accounts payable automation solution automatically captures an invoice’s data whether it comes in via email or through the PEPPOL network. It then validates this information’s authenticity, matches it against corresponding purchase orders and receipts, identifies discrepancies, and runs the exception management and approval workflow. Finally, it integrates with the finance system, transferring data for invoice posting and payment.

This means accounts payable staff do not need to manually enter data into the finance system, perform compliance checks, code invoices, identify exceptions, and manage the approval workflow – or perform some of these tasks in the case of partial automation. This reduces the cost of invoice processing for the organisation, while ensuring speed, accuracy, and compliance across accounts payable.

      •    Deliver better services

With AP automation, businesses run more efficiently, and customers benefit. Staff can focus more on the elderly in their care than on invoice paper trails, and monetary savings can be spent on providing better service. Vendors also benefit from on-time payments as this strengthens their cashflow, making their businesses more robust. In turn, this helps aged care service providers maintain high quality care through consistent supply delivery.

Further, timely payments put aged care service providers in a strong position to negotiate better rates and terms with suppliers. This may help to reduce the overall spend on procurement. Likewise, by having visibility over the invoice lifecycle and control over when payments are made, aged care service providers can access early-bird discounts. Over time and across suppliers, this can result in meaningful savings that can help improve service delivery and boost profitability.

      •    Make the business a better place to work

Some aged care workers have a significant administrative workload, with receipting goods and approving invoices adding to this. Many may find this work unrewarding and distracting from their primary responsibilities to care for the elderly. An AP automation solution helps to lighten the administrative load by making invoice approvals as quick and easy as possible. Managers can view the invoices that currently need their sign off and approve them with just the click of a button.

Further touchless processing is attainable by automating procure-to-pay. If organisations require a purchase order for procurement in most cases, the solution can run an automatic two-way match against the purchase order, or a three-way match against the purchase order and receipt. If details sufficiently align, the invoice will be auto approved for payment with no human intervention required. Procure-to-pay automation puts controls over ad hoc spending, ensures the business pays what it owes for the goods it has received, and relieves staff from laborious cross-checks. This saves time and money and helps to reduce workplace stress, making the organisation a better place to work. In turn, this may help to reduce staff turnover and deliver a better customer experience.

Conclusion

An AP automation solution can manage the invoice approval process from data capture to posting and payment, or complement the functionality of the ERP, as required, to achieve full accounts payable automation.

Automation frees up accounts payable and invoice approvers to take on more value-add work, as well as funds to be better spent elsewhere in the organisation. Managing heavy volumes of invoices and complex supply chains, aged care service providers can achieve tremendous outcomes through fully automating accounts payable. These include the following:

     – Reduced operational expenditure

     – Increased efficiency and productivity

     – Better compliance

     – Lower procurement costs

     – Stronger financial management

     – Improved supplier relations

     – Less administrative work

     – Reduced staff turnover

     – Better customer service and

     – A healthier bottom line.

Investing in efficient, effective systems and processes makes the organisation stronger – as well as a better place to work. This, in turn, positively impacts customer service and care.

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