Making the Switch: Integrating Cloud-Based AP Automation

African American man in suit with face mask on

The coronavirus pandemic has presented unique workforce challenges in industries ranging from supply chain to fast food. In its wake, an increased necessity for secure, cloud-based document systems has also become evident. It is especially true of accounts payable departments who work remotely to ensure their team is safe while assuring the company’s creditors and suppliers get compensated on time.

Transitioning your company’s financial records from their locked file cabinets to electronic files can be quite the task, but your team does not have to do it alone. A systems integrator, like the paperless guys at Mosaic, can help put your AP documents at your fingertips with accuracy and transparency. But how do you objectively determine the best integration resource for your project? As with choosing any vendor, we recommend completing a full vendor analysis.

Understanding Your Scope of Work

To begin your search for the most appropriate integrator, you are encouraged to first be clear on your scope of automation. Know what you want to accomplish, when you need it taken care of, and how the integration will affect your teams. It’s also not a bad idea to reference your standard operating practices when unraveling your project’s scope. 

Be sure to outline your payable processes in steps as well as your accounting department’s invoice management and approval processes. Also, include any known pain-points to be addressed during this integration.

Let’s consider this the discovery process, during which you may also seek to develop a project timeline that could be adjusted in real-time. Accounting for system upgrades and human error will afford you additional time to implement the automation software you choose. Taking adequate time to define the scope of work and implementation process expectation before vendor selection could help eliminate costly mistakes later in the process.

Software automation process spelled out on wooden blocks

Selecting an Integrator

Getting the most out of your accounts payable automation software solution is critical to your company’s bottom line. Selecting the integrator who best fits your needs will help provide the framework to improve your organization’s expense-to-revenue. Once you’ve identified the scope of your integration process, research your vendor’s entire organization. Peruse their website for positive results. Pay close attention to customer success stories. Do not hesitate to reach out to other customers about the potential vendor’s professional services. To inquire about an integrator’s business and viability, our recommended questions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have licensed engineers on staff?
  • What is your process for hiring and equipping new engineers as veteran engineers retire?
  • How will the integrator learn your business?

Deciphering the AP Automation Process

“Accounts Payable automation (AP Automation) refers to the technology used to streamline and automate accounts payable processes, removing manual tasks, and providing better visibility and control over important financial data.”

The Institute of Financial Management reports that 73 percent of organizations used AP automated software in 2020. Whether you use Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Infor, Syspro, SAP, or any other ERP system, a viable accounts payable automation software should make it easier to retrieve data for reporting, reviewing invoices and purchase orders, and immediately knowing your company’s cash flow. AP automation tools synergistically improve invoice processing and the overall workflow of the accounts payable department.

Incorporating AP automation software is an ideal solution for circumventing common issues with manual accounts payable processes. Now’s the perfect time to switch if your company:

  • Processes 500 or more invoices per month.
  • Has more than 2 full-time AP clerks
  • Outsources your AP
  • Has too many late payment penalties
  • Misses early payment discounts

Take a look at our recent blog posts for more on the benefits of AP automation.

Stacks of paper in filing folders

Mosaic Can Help with Integration

Our accounts payable tools can help free up your team, and a path for you to continue growing your business. Together, we can facilitate business optimizations that yield results your entire company will feel. Our DocStar solution integrates with accounting software to: 

  • Stimulate productivity through intelligent automated capture of invoice data
  • Capture early payment discounts
  • Automate your company’s AP approval process
  • Reduce accounts payable processing labor costs
  • Securely store electronic versions of your company’s financial documents

Why You Should Tour our DocStar Tools

Give your accounting department a break! Decide to automate your AP solutions and allow your accounting systems to do the heavy lifting. Your team’s day-to-day objectives will shift, giving way to the capacity for more revenue-generating activities that your current process may not have room for. 

Accounts payable automation solutions with paperless invoice processing are critical in transforming your AP Department. Take a tour of our DocStar automation software to see how the integration of our software can make your team and stakeholders happy.

Start your journey to AP automation with us today.

The Great Eight: Here Are the Top Standout Benefits of Going Paperless

At Mosaic, we’re in the business of matching the right paperless solution with your unique company and the needs of your team. 

That said, some things are universal. The below list comprises the one-size-fits-all, exciting, and sometimes surprising benefits of getting into the green game and leaving behind those mountains of paper behind forever.

1. You’ll have way, way more time on your hands.

Even for people who are still lucky enough to have jobs that let them work from home, navigating current economic challenges can be tough. With remote work on the uptick and the line between work and home becoming ever more blurred, exhaustion is on the rise. According to one recent survey, “Over two-thirds, or 69%, of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home.”

Bearing that in mind, freeing up your time and mental energy to focus on what’s important has become more critical than ever. Going paperless at the very least cuts out the endless hassle of storing, organizing, and filing (not to mention frequent trips to take out the recycling as it piles up at home).

Going paperless also means that you can share files, back up reports, or whatever else you need to do simply and easily from your mobile device, while on the go, which means no delays or having to wait around before getting to that next item on your to-do list.

 

2. It’s healthy for the environment.

Statista reports that, worldwide, we produce around 420 million metric tons of paper and cardboard every single year (of that, the United States accounts for 72 million metric tons!). To put that in context, that’s equivalent to around SEVEN separate Great Walls of China, one of the weightiest and most gigantic structures in the world. 

Lots. Of. Paper.

Not only that, but despite numerous campaigns and calls for reducing the amount of paper we use, the consumption of these natural resources is growing. In 2015, TIME magazine wrote about a new report stating that humans cut down 15 billion trees per year, much of which goes toward printing and writing paper specifically.

What’s extra dandy about going paperless is that it not only behooves you from a convenience standpoint AND makes you feel good about investing in the future of this planet. As famed writer and environmental advocate John Muir put it: “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.”

Get your heart right, step into that light, and ease up on the paper trail for a while, why doncha?

 

3. You’re less at risk for potential legal trouble.

Over the past ten years, the landscape of records management has changed dramatically. 

Beyond just being an inconvenience, an outdated content management system can have negative implications such as civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance and rapidly growing costs. Does that catch your attention? It did for us. 

Luckily, significant advances in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) have been shown to benefit a wide variety of organizations in this regard. It’s easy to get up-to-date in no time.

 

4. Bolstered security = greater peace of mind.

Privacy and data protection are big ones these days, with cyberthreats at top-of-mind for some of the most prominent players in the industry. Just recently, Wired reported on the troubling rise in government-sponsored hacks ramping up during the pandemic.

Of course, your business may be looking at risks that look a lot less like an international spy thriller and a lot more like just messing up or losing all of your essential data or putting your customers’ information at risk.

No matter what you stand to lose, you need to make sure you have the right data security measures in place — which no longer means just having a paper shredder on site. If you’ve got a cloud-based accounting system, you need to look into how you’re going to protect your customers’ financial information.

The best news is that we work with companies of all sizes – so you don’t have to be a giant to get air-tight security in place for low-stress operations.

 

5. Two words: Bragging rights.

Okay, so maybe the water cooler talk may not precisely revolve around who saved the most paper that day, but we’re just saying that it could lean in that direction. Think how much fun you’ll have bonding with your coworkers once paper processing is a thing of the past!

Here, we’ll get things started with this freebie: “Wanna hear a joke about paper? Never mind, it’s tearable.”

 

6. You’ll save lots of moolah.

Four years ago, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) and partners released findings that “paper is the largest waste category, and that if [large] companies reduced paper waste by just 1 percent, it would save them nearly $1 billion.”

Think about everything that goes into the paper process, too, even beyond just the paper itself: printer upkeep, ink, postage, office space for files, and employee time. Take all of that off your plate by investing in an overhaul that takes you into the digital future. Your savings will skyrocket.

 

7. Getting to communicate with clients faster.

Electronic communication is nothing if not efficient. You can send over the right papers in a flash rather than having to rely on old, antiquated means of transferring. And since we’ve already outlined how much more secure this method is, it’s a no-brainer.

 

8. All of your dreams will come true — you’ll be respected, wealthy, admired by all, and will have no problems ever again! 

… Okay, like the bragging rights bit, this one may be a bit of a stretch. However, you’ll certainly be saving yourself lots of time and headache in your day-to-day, and with something like that, who’s to say that the rest won’t fall into place?