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Accounts Payable Data. Your Hidden Gem.

Accounts Payable AutomationArtificial IntelligenceBest practicesThought LeadershipAnalytics
Mikko Hytönen

Has your company already implemented a modern AP automation solution? If not, you are missing out on significant value you can build on top of the information you’re collecting from the vendor invoices. AP automation is not only about process automation but also data access that could be a gold mine for a plethora of use cases. If you are currently using an automation solution or thinking of implementing one, make sure you have access to all the data that goes in. If not, reconsider changing your AP automation partner.

Let me explain this a bit more: an AP automation solution should collect and capture all the data that is shown on the invoices. And I mean everything – it is not just information you would use in your financial reporting, but you can use it to achieve a lot more. Based on the invoice data, you know how much you’ve bought, what was the price, where you bought it from, what was the cost of transportation and a lot more. Once you capture and understand all this, building applications on top of this data is relatively straightforward.

I’m listing below certain use cases that alone provide you the ROI from an AP automation solution investment, not to mention all the other benefits. 

1. Financial Reporting

It goes without saying that you should be able to report all key financial metrics that relate to the AP process. Full visibility and control are what you get when you have a functioning AP automation solution and analytics built on top of that data. You should also demand access to the data through APIs in case you want to integrate your AP data into an existing reporting tool or process you are already using.

2. Spend Analysis

Imagine that you get real-time data on your spending – not just the total by vendor but all the details you have on the invoice. Your company will have a powerful tool to negotiate with your vendors, or you can use a 3rd party to do this on your behalf just by giving them the data access. Budgeting and planning become a walk in the park when you have thorough understanding of your vendor spend.

3. ESG Reporting

CFOs are currently gearing up for the demands of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) reporting, and this presents numerous unanswered questions. We've noticed a growing interest in how AP automation can support ESG initiatives. Indeed, AP automation can play a pivotal role in meeting ESG requirements by furnishing the tools and data necessary to monitor, enhance, and report on the environmental, social, and governance aspects of the business. Beyond the obvious benefit of reduced paper usage, you have full insight into what your vendors are telling you on the invoice.

4. AI-Powered Analysis

Once all your vendor data is structured and readily available, there are no limits on what type of analysis you can conduct based on it. Take any of the available AI technologies and combine your data with other sources that are available out there. The revelations and relations you’re able to discover are beyond comprehension. Only the sky is the limit, and it doesn’t even stop there.

By now you must be convinced of the value of your data. If you haven’t considered it already, the time is now. Your peers and competitors are on it already.

About the Author
Mikko Hytönen
, Dooap's CEO, is a seasoned software business veteran with 20 years of experience in the field. He wants to understand how technology changes our lives and the world we live in. Passionate about sports.

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