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Financial Process Automation

What’s Driving AP Automation to The Cloud? Fast Deployment and Ease of Use

Instant access to information. The ability to do business anytime, anywhere. And technology solutions that can be used immediately. From end customers all the way to back-office teams such as accounts payable (AP) — these expectations are true across the business spectrum.

For AP teams to better control the invoice processing cycle they require insight into transactions. Team members also want the ability to monitor, approve or deny transactions using any device. From a management perspective, finance and accounting managers need quick and easy access to view and validate AP business metrics – all from their device of choice. Even suppliers and vendors are a part of this “instant access” demand, using self-service supplier portals to monitor transactions and information, for greater convenience and improved transparency.

The answer to these needs lies in the cloud. The demand for cloud-based financial applications software continues to outpace the demand for on-premises/other software solutions, according to IDC. The research firm’s Worldwide Financial Applications Forecast, 2018-2022 predicts the split between on-premises/other software and public cloud software will transition from 65.9 percent and 34.1 percent in 2017 to 50.5 percent and 49.5 percent in 2022.1 As the shift to the cloud continues to accelerate, we take a closer look at the main drivers behind this cloud rush and what a successful cloud deployment delivers.

The Benefits of The Cloud

Organizations of all sizes recognize the advantages of cloud computing.

“Today, we expect nearly 37% of enterprises (led by service-centric organizations) will choose a cloud FMS to replace their on-premises deployments in 2018. This will rise to nearly 45% in 2020 and 56% in 2022, as more product- and asset-centric organizations start to adopt them,” according to Gartner, Inc.2

At Kofax, we believe the specific advantages of moving AP automation to the cloud include:

Speed: Cloud-based AP solutions improve inquiry management and expedite discrepancy resolution. An improved ability to match invoices to purchase orders and an audit of transactions deliver additional time-saving benefits.

Faster implementation: Set-up can be completed in hours and requires no hardware or software investments.

Lower cost of entry: A subscription-based service that eliminates expensive hardware requirements provides an AP automation solution that is more affordable without sacrificing functionality.

Faster ROI: A lower cost of entry and quick implementation delivers a faster Return on Investment.

Scalability: Purchase only what you need, and easily add in new components when you’re ready. Quickly adjust to handle ebbs and flows in volume without changing the underlying infrastructure.

Reduced dependence on IT: With maintenance and updates handled in the cloud, your internal IT team is free to work on other initiatives that add more value to the business. You may also find you require less internal IT resources.

24/7 availability: The cloud delivers around-the-clock access and support, less downtime and constant performance monitoring.

Mobile access: Access to all AP functionality on a mobile device improves efficiency and insight into the state of AP and allows team members and managers to be more responsive.

Improved supplier relationships: The cloud provides faster rules-driven invoice processing for approvals and exception processing. This optimizes cycle times and reduces late-payment penalties, saving money via early payment discounts and forging better relationships with suppliers.

Looking at real-world organizations that have made the move to the cloud provides concrete proof of the many benefits.

Trius is a Belgian IT service provider found it was wasting time manually processing invoices, so it moved to a cloud-based AP automation solution. The system integrates with their ERP and uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to seamlessly and quickly transfer data from documents to the ERP. Paper archives are gone, as are errors associated with manual processing. Today, Trius uses the cloud solution to process 95 percent of supplier invoices. Processing an invoice now takes just two minutes – 80 percent faster than before. Employees have more time to focus on customer service and relationship building.

How to Take AP Automation to The Cloud

Organizations looking to migrate AP functionality to the cloud should partner with the right vendor. When evaluating cloud-based AP automation solutions, key criteria to look for include:

  • Rapid deployment
  • Near turnkey implementation
  • A highly customizable and secure solution
  • ERP integration
  • Multi-language and currency support
  • Analytics
  • Support for electronic invoices
  • Approval workflows
  • Dedicated cloud operations team
  • Reliability

The cloud delivers the level of automation, transparency and convenience that enables organizations to do business anytime, anywhere and from any device. More and more companies are discovering that cloud-based AP solutions offer a strategic advantage with lower costs, a faster ROI, easier invoice processing and 24/7 mobile access.

Learn how Kofax meets customer demands with a powerful and robust automated AP solution on premise or in the cloud. Learn more about Kofax AP Agility™.

1IDC, Worldwide Financial Applications Forecast, 2018-2022: Advanced Technologies Paving a New Path for Finance, Doc #US43266218, July 2018

2Gartner, Inc., Market Snapshot: Financial Management Systems, Worldwide, 2018, Robert Anderson, John Van Decker, Hai Swinehart. 30 August 2018