What is Straight Through Processing (STP) and why is it Important?
Advanced automation has reduced laborious tasks, cutting down manual processing times and helping businesses achieve greater efficiency, while simultaneously reducing costs and improving accuracy in the process. This is generally possible through straight through processing.
Straight through processing (STP) is a completely automatic process for conducting financial transactions without requiring any manual input. Businesses and financial organizations use straight through processing as it’s faster, more efficient, and doesn’t affect security.
Companies require dedicated solutions and the support of a technical network to leverage the power of straight through processing. For procurement departments, a STP solution can help cut down on tedious, time-consuming tasks, while driving cost savings and business value.
Simply put, straight-through processing allows AP teams to completely eliminate any invoice exceptions, along with associated manual labor, for all of the company’s procurement activities. Invoice exceptions often lead to late payments, and for mid-size businesses, this could mean thousands of lost working hours over the course of a year.
But, with straight through processing, this process becomes much easier. With advanced solutions that offer full accounts payable automation, companies can leverage the power of straight through processing to streamline operations and reduce repetitive and menial tasks.
A number of technologies have made straight through processing possible, including Optical Character Recognition (OCR). When an invoice is received by the AP departments, OCR software can automatically scan it and find relevant data, including the invoice number, order details, payment terms, and transfer information.
Instead of having AP teams extract this information, the software does it automatically. Straight through processing also uses Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to match invoices. Invoices can be read using RPA, and if all sufficient information is available, it is automatically moved to the next step, without requiring any manual approvals.
The combination of these two technologies allows businesses to reduce manual intervention in repetitive processes, helping them achieve true straight through processing.
Straight through processing is quite beneficial, especially for businesses that deal with a high volume of transactions. Some of the benefits that it offers include:
SoftCo Procure-to-Pay is an end-to-end solution for companies that want to automate their entire procurement process. It’s a global solution that lets you manage transactions in different currencies or languages, review information about different vendors, and gain a greater understanding of your organizational spend.
The Matching Engine in SoftCo’s Procure-to-Pay utilizes RPA to automatically remove any manual elements throughout the invoice matching process, delivering up to 75% straight through processing. To eliminate inaccuracy, it also uses artificial intelligence, learning over time as more invoices are processed.