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Digital technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent in the healthcare industry because they enable better patient outcomes. Here are just some of the reasons why healthcare companies should consider automating accounts payable:
      •    Save money on processing

Manually processing invoices is highly inefficient; the error rate is very high with data entry, and the approval process can be prone to delays with multiple steps and people involved. Clearly, time spent processing invoices is an unwanted cost; this money could be better spent on patients or on staff.

      •    Prevent unnecessary overspend

When relying on manual checks, it can be easy for duplicate or fraudulent invoices to slip into the invoice approval workflow. This overspend can be difficult, time-consuming (and therefore expensive) to recoup; in the case of fraud, it’s usually impossible to recover.

      •    Lighten the load for front-line staff

Front-line staff may be required to carry out administrative duties such as approving invoices, diverting their attention from patient care. An automation solution makes this process 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.

      •    Enable straight-through processing

By automating procure-to-pay and requiring 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 with no human intervention required.

      • Manage a complex supply chain

By automating accounts payable, companies can take charge of their payment processes. They can get their exception rate down by instructing their suppliers on how they need to receive their invoices, refusing to pay any that do not meet their guidelines. Automating vendor onboarding saves time, labour, and ensures all compliance requirements are met.

      • Lower payables balance

By consistently paying suppliers on time, healthcare organisations are in a strong position to negotiate better rates or terms with their suppliers. This helps to get the overall payables balance down. Likewise, by having visibility over the invoice lifecycle and control over when payments are made, companies can access early-bird discounts. Over time and across suppliers, this can result in meaningful savings.

      • Maintaining consistent supply

Having strong relationships with vendors is important for maintaining consistent supply and consequently being able to maintain high-quality service. Automating manual processes also supports business continuity in challenging times; critical payables data is stored safely in the cloud and is accessible online, allowing off-site work for some personnel. Investing in efficient, effective systems and processes makes the organisation a better place to work. In turn, this positively impacts customer service and patient care.

What does an accounts payable automation solution do?

An end-to-end accounts payable automation solution captures invoice data from email or from the PEPPOL network, if applicable. It then processes it by validating it, matching it against corresponding purchase orders and receipts, identifying discrepancies, and running the exception management and approval workflow. Finally, it syncs with the finance system for invoice posting and payment.

This means that 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. The solution is configured to automatically perform these tasks, with minimal human involvement required.

What does an accounts payable automation solution do?

RapidAP digitises an organisation’s accounts payable, with data available to authorised users online. As a complete accounts payable automation solution, RapidAP offers:

– Optical Character Recognition data capture technology,

– Buyer’s access point for PEPPOL e-invoices,

– Highly configurable business rules engine,

– Personalised user dashboards for exception management and approvals,

– Reporting and analytics,

– Easy systems integration with finance systems and ERPs.

RapidAP has a flexible and modular configuration so users can select the specific functionality they require to complement their current finance system and fully automate accounts payable. This makes it a quick to deploy, highly cost-effective solution.

Conclusion

Healthcare companies can deliver a better customer and patient experience by addressing back-office inefficiencies and reducing their cost of doing business. Over time, companies can make significant savings, which they can re-direct to front-line services. Equally, by operating more efficiently, they may be able to become more profitable without raising prices or adding revenue streams.

Managing heavy volumes of invoices and complex supply chains, healthcare organisations should consider automating accounts payable to protect the best interests of staff, as well as do the right thing by their suppliers. Ultimately, this leads to the best outcomes for patients.

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