Shared Services and AP Automation: Top Challenges and Solutions

When Brendan Blok, Senior Global Business Advisor at Basware, spoke to people involved in Shared Services at the SSON global AP automation event, he had them enthralled. Not only was Brendan speaking the truth and sharing insights from his own and his customers’ experience, it soon became clear that the challenges of global accounts payable (AP) automation are not to be sneezed at.

But there are solutions.

In this video blog post we share some of the key takeaways from the event, and the wisdom that Brendan imparted to those who know that automating processes in shared services goes beyond simply handing tasks off to less highly-paid people: it requires re-thinking processes entirely, going digital, and even eliminating OCR… Take a look at these videos to see why.

What’s the problem?

As Brendan explains in the video below, AP and finance are ripe with inefficiencies. How do we solve this problem? Take a look at this video to find out more about giving spend visibility back to the organisation, reducing costs and improving productivity and efficiency. You’ll also hear why people should be optimistic about the future of invoice automation.

Why is it AP automation important?

You can throw human resources at challenges, but all you’re doing is hiding inefficient processes. But what if you could streamline accounts payable processes and get full visibility so that the only manual touches required take place when dealing with exceptions? Find out how to drive other initiatives with the money saved from early payment discounts in this next video as Brendan explains how to harmonise data and systems, automate processes and save your organisation time (and money) to get to an e-invoicing utopia.

A path forward

Once you’ve decided that e-invoicing is the way forward, the next step is to improve the processes you already have. It’s about receiving invoices in the most seamless way and getting 100% data visibility, matching back to completed goods receipts and streamlining workflows. Why not go even further and use AI and machine learning to automatically code invoices? It’s possible when you use a platform to drive better visibility in analytics, as this video explains.

Adding the complexity of global regulations…

Things become even more challenging when you have to take an entire world’s worth of finance and invoice legislation into account, as Brendan demonstrates in this video. The good news is that Basware partners with a slew of local and international players, including KPMG and Ernst & Young, to make sure we have solutions across the globe to fit your specific needs to centralise and harmonise the invoice processes. Whether you need real-time invoicing to local tax authorities or paper processing where it makes sense, Basware can help. Watch this video to discover how countries around the world are dealing with global compliance and PEPPOL.

Lastly: why paper and OCR are dead

Our customers want real-time, real-quality data. Paper just doesn’t cut it any more. Government-mandated changes were already reducing a global carbon footprint and turning towards e-invoicing standards like PEPPOL before COVID hit. Now e-invoicing is really the only route forward. Take a look at this video to see what electronic data formats people are using and how one of our clients has celebrated ‘going green’ in style.