If you’re still doing invoice management manually you know the process is inefficient and time consuming. You’re also aware that you’ve settled for the current situation because you’re too busy to change.
The trouble is that the longer you wait, the bigger the issue becomes.
Many moons ago (that is 20-plus years), vCom developed vManager because we believe that a crucial part of the IT spend lifecycle is automating your billing workflow so that it is both simple and accessible.
As a reminder, the IT lifecycle encompasses the nine jobs that need to be done to manage the spend connected to any IT asset: Solution Design, Sourcing, Contract Management, Order Management, Asset Management, Service & Support, Invoice Management, Accounting, and Analytics.
A manual process related to any of these jobs is both costly and tedious. But lack of time shouldn’t be a reason to stick with the status quo. An automated billing workflow doesn’t have to be a big bad monster lurking on the horizon.
It can be daunting to examine invoice workflow within the IT spend lifecycle. But with the average cost of manually processing an invoice estimated at $12-$30 per invoice, think about the time and resource savings you’d see if you automated the process.
Let’s look at four ways automating invoice management can positively impact the management of your IT expenses.
Eliminate Human Error
Once the IT spend lifecycle has reached the invoicing stage, the volume of work can snowball, leading to human error. That means mistakes that lead to wasted time and frustration but also potential loss in revenue. In fact, more than 67 percent of businesses report an average payment error rate of more than 1 percent (Institute of Financial Management). Depending on the size of the payment, that can be substantial. Manual processes run the risk of misplaced invoices, security and compliance errors, and poor data entry. Processing invoices manually will lead to financial losses resulting from late fees, personnel costs, postage fees, lost discounts, duplicate payments, and a range of other possibilities. Automating the process eliminates these risks and significantly speeds the time it takes to process invoices.
At minimum, manually processing an invoice means creating a printed copy, circulating it for approvals and signatures, keying the information into an accounting system, cutting a check for signature, or making the funds available for electronic processing. Who has visibility into any of that information? The finance department. In the meantime, the IT department might (might!) have a spreadsheet where they track costs.
Automating the invoice process provides unparalleled visibility into not just which invoices are being paid but the accuracy of the invoice. Does it correspond to the asset purchased? Is it being billed at the contracted rate? Is the asset being invoiced still in use? Carrier billing mistakes are common and businesses almost seem resigned to them. With greater visibility into the invoice process there’s no reason to pay more than you should.
Plus, when we talk about greater visibility, we mean across the entirety of the IT lifecycle. You need to be able to see everything about every asset…including what it costs…all in one central location.
Free Up Staff
Skilled staff should have the tools they need to do their jobs better. That means relying on technology and automation that provides more accurate and efficient processing than the any human hand. Don’t be frightened—rather, seize the moment!
Automating the flow of IT invoices with a platform is more accurate, faster, and more cost-efficient. It frees up staff resources to tackle more strategic jobs and projects. Removing repetitive, time-consuming work is another way of investing in your people and enabling them to contribute to your bottom line through creativity, innovation, and imagination.
Eliminate late fees
Manual processing of invoices is slower, so even the best-intentioned billing and accounts payable teams may fall behind if invoices back up during a busy period. Extra time is required to address late payments, penalties increase, and your profits shrink a little bit more every day.
Aside from not incurring late fees, there are benefits to paying invoices early or on time. Many organizations offer discounts for setting up automatic payments and other expedited payment methods.
It is time to face the inevitable.
Manual bill processing is so last century. Don’t let time constraints of the status quo continue to keep you falling further behind the curve. It’s unnecessary and it’s costing you money.
At vCom, we can help get your IT invoices under management and provide you unparalleled visibility into the costs behind each of those invoices. It’s the first step many of our clients take in their journey towards full IT lifecycle management.