Accounts Payable recovery tactics are evolving at a rapid rate. As loss recovery becomes a higher priority for businesses, A/P teams are looking for new ways to optimize their process. New tactics can combine tools like automation software with human expertise to save both time and money.
So how do you improve your loss recovery process? We’ve highlighted four innovative strategies that can enhance your team’s efforts and boost the bottom line of your A/P department.
Automate redundant tasks
Automation is an innovative and immensely valuable modern tool. Every industry is moving toward increased automation, and A/P shouldn’t fall behind. Whether you use bots, algorithms or AI tech, you can enhance your department’s capabilities with automated programs.
By automating repetitive, time-consuming manual data processing, you’ll free your team up to focus on high-value tasks like strategy and analysis. A/P workers become significantly more effective when software shoulders some of the burden.
1. Combine bots to create workflows
Bots are small programs that do specific tasks, such as invoice processing. To make the most of this tech, you can combine these programs into automated workflows. In other words, you’re breaking your process down into distinct parts and dedicating specific bots toward those parts. The bots work together to accomplish essential but repetitive tasks.
This automation strategy will help reduce your backlog of invoices, improve your processing rate and ultimately allow you to focus on loss recovery.
2. Enhance your processes with smart software
Whether you use an AI program like IBM’s Watson or intelligent software applications like Technology Insight’s DataShark, software can add computing power to your A/P efforts by scanning documents for significant information or cleaning up errors in your files. These programs — especially ones optimized for A/P — provide deep insight into your department’s data and processes.
Automated programs are especially useful for internal audits. Audits are an essential step for any loss recovery program; these programs can enhance the process by scanning for duplicate payment errors and mistakes in Vendor Master Files. Tools like DataShark have this functionality built into them and are continually learning to better identify and prevent errors.
Locating these errors is the first step in accounts payable recovery. Software can streamline that process.
Turn A/P into a profit center
When you combine innovative tech with advanced data analysis, you positively compound the efforts of your A/P team. Ultimately, you can increase profits by using these tools to identify lost revenue opportunities and supplement your accounts payable recovery system.
3. Take advantage of transparent data
The best software programs do more than crunch data: they make your data accessible and enable deeper analysis. These insights can inform and hone your department’s practices.
For instance, a program like DataShark can identify missed revenue. If your pay process takes two weeks, and as a result you miss out on a 2% discount for speedy payment, you’re leaving money on the table. DataShark provides visibility into gaps in your process (such as uncaptured revenue from payment terms) and allows you to capitalize on that information. It also helps speed up your payment process, enabling you to capture that discount.
On the other hand, you might pay all invoices within two weeks when your payment terms entitle you to 45 days. That conflict represents a significant difference in cash flow. Software can collect all your data to identify this flaw in the process, and you can adjust your approach accordingly.
With a transparent process and accessible data, you’ll be able to increase revenue and mitigate losses. Increased profit margins in A/P can support the efforts of recovery programs and improve the bottom line of your department.
4. Dig for the root causes of errors
Errors happen. Even the best A/P departments can’t avoid 0.01% error rates. While minuscule, those errors can result in thousands or even millions of dollars of lost revenue.
You can use data analysis to recapture that money and dig into why the errors happened in the first place. Individual duplicate payment errors aren’t a critical issue — but understanding what caused them is essential.
The true value of analysis programs like DataShark is the insight they provide into which practices result in error and fraud. You can use that transparent data and error insight to improve your process, preventing fires rather than scrambling to put them out. This is a truly innovative use of modern software: by preventing loss, you’ll avoid the need for extensive recovery.
These tactics and technologies can optimize your Accounts Payable department’s loss recovery by saving time and deepening your understanding of the causes of loss.
Ready to learn more? Download our guide to loss recovery in Accounts Payable.