AP Automation, Blog

Accounts Payable Process: Don’t Turn It Into Halloween Nightmare

Don’t Let Your Accounts Payable Process Turn Into a Halloween Nightmare

With Halloween around the corner, it’s not just ghosts and goblins that can send shivers down your spine. Accounts payable teams face their own set of bone-chilling challenges year-round, and we’ve summoned our top five below. From invoices that vanish like apparitions to data entry nightmares that turn skilled practitioners into zombies, these challenges can haunt AP teams during full moons (and month-end). But don’t fret; Tradeshift has plenty of treats to prevent your Halloween from becoming a nightmare:

The Haunting Paper Trail

We’ll start with perhaps the scariest stat of them all. Of the 550 billion invoices sent globally each year, 90% remain paper-based. This gigantic paper trail of endless invoices and receipts can turn even the sturdiest of accounts payable practitioners into a quivering wreck. The fact this problem still exists is scary enough, particularly when there are any number of AP automation solutions out there that can eliminate paper from your process for good. The very best of these (like Tradeshift’s PAY) are designed with a native digital experience in mind. Tradeshift takes in all your invoices digitally, regardless of how your seller sent them. We bring order to chaos and replace stacks of paper with well-organized, easily accessible digital files.

The Phantom Invoice

There are a number of reasons why an invoice might go missing, especially if it’s submitted to you on paper or via email. Paper invoices can fall down the back of a filing cabinet, emails can end up in spam folders, and invoices with missing or incorrect information may be set aside, never to be found again. 

Tradeshift offers a streamlined and transparent process that minimizes the risk of invoices going missing. With automated workflows, real-time notifications, and centralized document management, businesses can ensure that invoices are promptly delivered and tracked. Tradeshift also promotes digital collaboration between buyers and suppliers, reducing miscommunication and enhancing data accuracy.

Zombie Data Entry

Data entry can drain your team’s life force, making them feel more like zombies than the highly skilled operators they truly are. Your skills and financial knowledge go way beyond filling in spreadsheets and checking whether invoices have been paid. Cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence (AI), process automation, and analytics are empowering forward-thinking enterprises to transform their accounts payable departments into strategic partners and even revenue centers. Let our technology handle the heavy lifting, allowing your team to focus on high-value tasks. 

Cryptic Vendors

Cryptic invoices are like a puzzle wrapped in a riddle, and poor supplier master data is frequently the root cause of the problem. Inaccurate or outdated supplier information, such as incorrect billing addresses or contact details, can result in misrouted invoices or communication breakdowns, causing payment delays and disputes that can harm supplier relationships. 

Incorrect data may lead to compliance and regulatory issues, potentially incurring penalties. Inefficient data management can also result in extra manual work, increased operational costs, and decreased overall productivity, all of which can strain accounts payable processes. And these are just the honest issues – what about fraudulent invoices? 

At Tradeshift, we put a great deal of emphasis on helping organizations to ‘clean up’ vendor information, using machine learning to recognize duplicates and missing or erroneous data. And because the connection we establish between buyers and suppliers is 100% digital and secured, onboarded suppliers can more easily take on the responsibility for managing their own information, reducing the burden on AP teams to keep this information up to date and simultaneously reducing the risk of fraud.

The Approvals Black Hole

Invoices stuck in the spectral realm of approval can lead to significant bottlenecks and late payments to your suppliers. Tradeshift streamlines invoice approvals by automating workflows and providing real-time collaboration and mobile accessibility. It enables automated routing of invoices to the right approvers, offers real-time communication, and sends notifications and reminders to maintain an efficient approval process. Our AI capabilities also learn how you want to code and approve invoices and then effectively eliminate those steps for you. Dial up or down the desired amount of AI-powered action in the AP automation dashboard and get closer to higher straight-through-processing rates. No more invoice coding, no more manual workflows, and no more chasing individuals for approvals.

The Labyrinth of Compliance

Accounts payable teams face a growing challenge in staying on top of tax compliance regulations that can vary significantly from one country to the next. The move towards e-invoice clearance models (CTC) in a fast-expanding list of countries across the globe adds a further layer of potential complexity for time-starved accounts payable teams to confront. The consequences of non-compliance, such as penalties and legal issues, can haunt businesses long after the Halloween season. 

Tradeshift shifts the burden of costly and time-consuming transactional tax compliance management away from internal finance departments. The Tradeshift platform provides a centralized global e-invoicing and supplier management system that has embedded tax compliance monitoring and change management capabilities to adapt to new and changing CTC requirements. 

Halloween may bring spooky tales to life, but for accounts payable teams, these challenges are ever-present. Tradeshift, with its state-of-the-art technology and best practices, can help you confront these challenges head-on. This Halloween, illuminate your accounts payable processes with Tradeshift. You’ll discover that our platform transforms your AP team into a well-oiled machine, offering treats of efficiency, accuracy, and peace of mind to your organization. 

Happy Halloween, and may your financial nightmares rest in peace with Tradeshift by your side!

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