Yooz: Driving Innovation Through Smart Automation

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Yooz: Driving Innovation Through Smart Automation

CFO Tech Outlook | Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Laurent Charpentier, COO, Yooz

Nearly a quarter of all invoices are signaled for anomalies, requiring AP staff to intervene and complete additional work before they can be accepted.

FREMONT, CA: From lower costs to shorter cycle times and spotting duplication, automating a company’s accounts payable process from purchase to payment provides a slew of benefits, transforming the AP department into a strategic asset for the entire business. As Laurent Charpentier, COO and CIO of Yooz, North America, the secret to success told listeners of Mary Schaeffer’s popular AP Now podcast [LINK: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1 51mIdja4KL9cSOdfmFbA], is an all-in-one solution that handles a touchless invoice process from purchase to payment. Yooz is a fast-growing SaaS firm that provides innovative, cloud-based AP (Accounts Payable) automation to address today’s top invoice processing concerns. The company has also been named among the “Top Accounting Solution Providers-2021” list by the CFO Tech Outlook Magazine.

“A lot of companies are still paper-based and think they have automated their AP process when they scan and email invoices to each other. That is not automation and it is not accelerating the process,” Charpentier explained on a segment of Schaeffer’s “AP Technology Week” special. “True automation starts with capturing invoices by using machine learning and smart data extraction to eliminate manual data entry.”

This type of digital transformation addresses several issues with the AP process. It dramatically decreases the time it takes to approve invoices, which is both time-consuming and costly. According to Charpentier, the typical turnaround time for an invoice is still approximately four weeks. Errors, frustration, and the need for human involvement are all consequences of paper-based processes.

The enormous number of exclusions is a second issue; he told Schaeffer. Nearly a quarter of all invoices are signaled for anomalies, requiring AP staff to intervene and complete additional work before they can be accepted. Duplicate invoices with identical or somewhat different invoice numbers frequently sneak through the cracks. “With a manual process, we see up to three percent of all payments being duplicate payments. Many are never caught, which is a cash loss for the organization,” Charpentier said.

As a first step, he advised organizations to use the built-in features of their accounting system to prevent an AP clerk from accessing the same invoice number again. That simple precaution is frequently not enabled even before AP automation begins. According to Charpentier, intelligent automation with a robust platform like Yooz is the most significant approach to decrease duplicates and outright fraud. Yooz compares purchase requests, purchase orders, and invoices in a three-way match. It also employs smart rules, which each organization may build, to verify up to six different data points on each invoice before sending it to clearance.

AP automation has proven its worth, especially during the pandemic. It saves time for employees and maintains business continuity, but it also catches duplication, according to Jamie Radford of the AP Association in the United Kingdom, who also spoke on the show. “During the last 12 months, a lot of businesses struggled to get paid and resent a lot of invoices.” Combining the right technology and trained staff made the difference to process the correct invoices quickly; both he and Charpentier agreed.

Smart automation, such as that provided by Yooz, also addresses two other issues that many AP teams lament: dealing with time-consuming vendor searches and handling checks. “It is a real lack of visibility and real-time data when staff have to answer phone calls while a piece of paper is sitting on someone’s desk,” Charpentier said.

Because documents are indexed and securely saved in the cloud the minute they arrive, automation provides significant benefits in terms of full traceability and instant search. Cutting paper checks decreases the risk of errors, delays, and blatant fraud while also taking advantage of critical early-payment discounts. It is also crucial to be able to make electronic payments with your preferred payment partner.

These process improvements have resulted in the AP team playing a more strategic role, as Charpentier reminded Schaeffer and her audience of AP workers from across the country. From real-time visibility into current obligations and payment timing to supplier performance, the information generated by the AP process can be crucial.

“AP functions can drive growth for the entire organization and make the accounting department more strategic,” the Yooz COO stressed. “My message to all AP teams is: Do not fear losing your job. Automation will reshape it and make it a lot more interesting.”

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