AP Automation Benefits

According to Institute of Finance Management (IOFM), 62% of invoices received by organizations are still manually handled. Manual processing takes time, requires costly personnel, lacks visibility and introduces the risk of errors and fraud.

Accounts Payable (AP) automation software empowers businesses by eliminating manual tasks, streamlining processes, dramatically reducing costs and freeing up cash flow. Supplier invoices are swiftly captured, matched, approved and ready for payment through a single platform with full visibility, compliance and control over important financial processes and data. Below are just some of the benefits of AP automation:

89% Cost
Reduction

100% Visibility
& Control

90% Lower
Approval Time

70% Less
Supplier Queries

Achieve Compliance
Obligations

Mitigate
Fraud

Seamless ERP
integration

Realtime
Data insights

Working Capital
management

Informed decision
making

80% Straight Through Processing

By delivering 80%+ straight through
processing, SoftCo’s customers experience
the highest return on investment.

What is Straight Through or Touchless Processing and how does it benefit organizations?

Straight Through Processing (STP), or Touchless Invoice Processing, is when an invoice is automatically captured and approved ready for payment requiring no manual intervention. The level of Straight Through Processing and the cost of processing a supplier invoice are intrinsically linked. Such ‘touchless’ processing has a significant cost benefit while also removing any risk of human error and fraud.

In a purely manual environment the cost of processing an invoice is $15.97 according to the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM). With low automation solutions, such as OCR in isolation, there remains manual tasks that need to be completed to move the invoice through the process. Even in this low automation environment there are benefits compared to a pure manual paper-based approach. The average cost to process an invoice in a low automation environment is $8.78 according to the IOFM.

Exponential benefits accrue with High Automation. SoftCoAP incorporates unique Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Adaptive Learning technologies to minimize the number of supplier invoices that require manual intervention. SoftCo’s Smart Matching engine matches the most complex scenarios resulting in a 38% improvement in match rate versus standard matching engines. Smart Routing technology determines the correct routing of invoices for approval, reducing the time taken to correctly route invoices by 90%. The average cost to process an invoice in a High Automation environment is just $1.77. This equates to a staggering $1.4m saving per annum for organizations processing 100,000 invoices.

See how much you can save using our simple ROI calculator here:

See how much you can save with SoftCo AP

Select the number of annual Invoices Processed

  • 20k
  • 40k
  • 60k
  • 80k
  • 100k
  • 150k
  • 200k
  • 250k
  • 300k
  • 400k
  • 500k
Annual cost with Manual Processing:
$319,400
Annual Saving using SoftCo Automation:
$284,000
Cost per invoice based on IOFM Benchmark Metrics 2021
SoftCo Automation based on utilizing SoftCo’s Smart Matching engine delivering High Automation

“We are now automatically matching 80% of all of our supplier invoices.
This means they go straight through the process, touchless
without any manual intervention.

Brian Conneely, Finance Director, Grafton Ireland

How does it work?

SoftCo’s SMART technology delivers industry leading straight-through processing and significant cost savings by incorporating transformative technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Document Understanding (ADU) and Deep Learning Intelligence. SoftCo’s unique technology leads to a far higher percentage of invoices passing through SoftCoAP without requiring Accounts Payable user intervention.

The SoftCo Smart Matching Engine uses artificial intelligence to enable organizations to process a greater volume of invoices and achieve a far higher rate of touchless invoice processing. The Smart Matching Engine utilizes confidence scoring to intelligently match invoices to the correct PO and PO line, even when the information on the invoice is missing certain elements or is not fully consistent with the details on your PO or GRN. While other matching engines depend on specific information in order to complete a first time 2-way or 3-way match, the AI Matching Engine analyses all other elements and provides a suggested match and presents the degree of confidence for that match. Each matching operation results in a confidence score being assigned to the strength of the match. Customers select what confidence level will be allowed flow through automatically to enable touchless invoice processing, while invoices matched with a lower level of confidence are presented to the AP team for review before release.

The SoftCo Contract Matching module uses Document Understanding technology to deliver touchless matching of payments against supplier contracts. SoftCo’s Advanced Document Understanding (ADU) captures all key elements of a contract as soon as it is uploaded to the SoftCo platform and via deep learning, automates the matching of corresponding invoices to the contract as they are received. SoftCo Pre-Approved Spend creates a pre-defined budget that instantly and intuitively sets the boundaries within which that budget can be spent. Spend can be limited by time period, vendor(s), products and overall available amount to spend. Once these boundaries have been established and Pre-Approved Spend budgets approved, the system’s Deep Learning capabilities understands when a requisition is associated with a Pre-Approved Spend budget and allows the requisition to bypass the standard approval process. With approved users able to draw down on Pre-Approved Spend budgets, the ability to react to day-to-day operational requirements is greatly improved, whilst also giving budget owners visibility and control to ensure all spending takes place within the defined limits controlled by the customer.

New innovative Smart Routing technology utilizing the latest in Adaptive Learning techniques to determine the correct routing of invoices for approval, reducing the time taken to correctly route invoices by 90%. Advanced Exception Handling functionality and an improved UI provides users with clear reasons for any exception and guidance on how to best resolve it resulting in a dramatically accelerated process. Smart Coding harnesses Machine Learning to analyze previously coded invoices and automatically apply the correct coding for new invoices. This innovative feature significantly reduces the reliance on the AP team’s knowledge and enables coding in seconds rather than minutes.

See what SoftCo can do
for your business