Invoice automation, electronic workflow systems improve financial management

Invoice automation, electronic workflow systems improve financial management

Many companies are struggling to manage their financial documents, a problem that could become more challenging over the next few years as executives are forced to manage healthcare costs

"The response rate from our advertising and the data from this survey clearly tell us that small- and medium-sized business owners are delaying any response or reaction to Obamacare, despite the fact that it might not be in their best interest to be paralyzed at the moment," Barry Sloane, president and CEO of The Small Business Authority, recently said in a statement. 

With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act set to take effect in 2014, executives will be responsible for managing more healthcare costs. However, according to a recent survey by The Small Business Authority of more than 100,000 business accountants, companies are still unsure how they will handle these payments. With less than two years to go before the deadline, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they have not yet decided which course of action to take.

"We are surprised at the number of business owners who have elected to not make decisions as to how they will manage changes in healthcare plans," Sloane said. "We recently advertised, on national cable news, a solution for business owners to discuss health and benefits. The results from that solicitation were less than anticipated."

Automation tools can help
While invoice automation tools are generally categorized with accounts payable functions, their potential benefits extend far beyond simple sales processes. For example, organizations in the United Kingdom have reported 50 percent accuracy increases from invoicing procure-to-payment functions, according to a recent blog post. In addition, invoice automation has allowed companies to reduce costs and boost productivity by 33 to 60 percent. 

The news source suggested that invoice automation offers substantial improvement to financial document management because it provides real-time visibility of the information involved. Decision-makers may also be able to make better predictions as a result of having this data at their disposal. 

As business owners and management struggle to handle growing healthcare payment responsibilities, they may want to implement electronic workflow systems to overcome these obstacles. Because the requirements are in a state of flux, decision-makers could benefit from leveraging paperless document management. These systems not only improve storage capabilities, but they typically include automating functions that send documents to the right place at the right time, according to the blog post.