On June 11, 2010, the Wall Street Journal, reported that at the end of March, cash made up 7% of all company assets – the highest level since 1963. While cash is good, at some point it needs to be re-invested in order to provide a return to shareholders. In the blog called Accounts Payable and Invoice Optimization, Paul Diegelman describes how utilizing cash on hand to take advantage of early payment discounts from suppliers represents a great return for shareholders.
Taking advantage of early payment discounts offered by suppliers assumes you can receive, process and approve inbound invoices fast enough to meet their terms. It is interesting that a company’s ability to optimize the value of their cash on hand can be impacted by processes in the mailroom, data entry, and workflow.
On the topic of workflow, it is very interesting to note that even ERP companies like SAP with a comprehensive solution still endorse third party invoice management systems. Why? Third party invoice management systems are specifically designed to move invoices quickly from receipt to payment. These are specialized transactional content management systems that are designed to optimize the speed and accuracy in which these processes can be completed.
As good as specialized invoice management systems can be, they still need the addition of digital mailrooms and EDI/B2B systems to help speed up the process of receiving invoices. Recent industry surveys indicate that more than 80 percent of invoices are on paper, and more than 95 percent of processing time is keying data. This survey emphasizes the need to implement a digital mailroom that can convert all paper and electronic documents into usable digital content, recognize it, and deliver it quickly and directly to the appropriate business application or knowledge worker for approval.