The last few years have put pressure on accounting operations and highlighted the power of digitized departments. Prior to the pandemic, accounting departments across the globe were already stressed.
A proliferation of manual tasks left them exhausted and wasted their talents. In fact, nearly 50% of small and mid-market businesses received paper invoices. Accounts payable and accounts receivable had long been designated data-entry jobs, despite their crucial role in ensuring cash flow, strengthening supplier relationships, and customer retention.
When the pandemic hit, every accounting system felt the burden. Organizations that failed to shift to accounting software or digitize a fraction of their process were left in the lurch. Others attempt to switch their systems during the lockdown, hoping to retain their finance professionals as remote workers until offices reopened.
A business owner could connect financial stability to their accounting system and their talented billing department more than ever.
Then, the Great Resignation began.
Now, organizations have more to worry about than basic cash flow and customer retention. The challenge most businesses face is how to reinvent their accounting system or risk losing their talented team.
The link between technology and retention
Losing an employee can finish off a business already struggling to recover. The cost of replacing a single employee is just over $39000 in lost productivity. If you consider the loss of knowledge that occurs when a finance professional leaves – the time lost in the replacement relearning the system is extensive.
So what do employees want?
At the top of the list, 60% of employees are craving meaningful work. Something that manual data entry does not provide. In fact, manual tasks often contribute to burnout. A poll by Paychex found that 63% of employees left their jobs due to overwork.
Employees also desire recognition and a personalized workplace. These are also hard to accomplish when an employee has to hover over financial statements and painstakingly log in each customer invoice into their ERP.
Providing an efficient workplace where an accounting team feels valued and has time to accomplish meaningful work is critical to ensuring retention.
Accounting software for retention: AP Automation
The right accounting software can be the first step towards providing meaningful work to your accounts payable team. Rather than have them review countless business transactions, it’s possible to automate data collection, invoice matching, and payments reconciliation with the right software tool.
AP automation accelerates manual tasks so that your AP team only has to review exceptions. A best-in-class AP automation solution can reduce exceptions by over half and process invoices 74% faster. At the same time, invoice processing costs drop by 80%.
Automation also decreased the likelihood of errors, meaning that the accounting team doesn’t have to go back searching for documentation and redo work. The rate of human error through manual data entry is around 8-10%, but an intelligent automation solution can reduce this to 1% or less.
It’s clear that supporting your accounting team with AP automation is one of the easiest ways to retain talent in the long term and improve the employee experience.
But how can you choose the right solution?
Ideally, your AP automation solution should include:
- Cloud-based infrastructure to support remote employees
- Rich data capture of structured and unstructured data
- AI reconciliation
- Intelligent verification
- Quality assurance and built-in compliance
- VAT reclaim eligibility screening & reporting
Support your AP professionals
With the right tools, your AP team can ditch the tedious hours of low-value activities and focus on mission-critical tasks. Say goodbye to disruption and strained supplier relationships and accelerate your workflow with Itemize’s automation solution for financial professionals.
Itemize’s intelligent automation solution provides end-to-end AP workflow and compliance benefits that free up time and resources for your AP team. Learn how our products can support your accounting team in achieving their goals and schedule a demo today.