By Shweta Aglawe
In AP Automation
Mar 10th, 2017

Accounts payable (AP) automation is still lagging behind in most of the organizations.

According to the think tank, IFO, 50% of invoices received today by companies are in the form of paper which are shipped via post or courier, 36% are received via email—all these need manual handling. Only 8% of invoices are received via supplier portals—the highest form of automation as of today.



In the past, most companies used to choose scan-and-capture solutions as their route to automation. The scan-and-capture method of processing invoices is described as ex post facto digitalization. Here, the invoice may be received as paper but is stored and processed as a scanned PDF / image attachment. This process might be a step ahead of paper-based invoice processing, but it is just as manual and labor intensive.

This is because scan-and-capture can only give AP teams empty file cabinets, but not real efficiencies in the process.

Scan-and-capture still involves using a ‘paper invoice’, although digitized. It still has many associated expenses and a number of hidden costs although filing or physical storage and the associated time and costs are eliminated.


Scan and capture


The technology of scan-and-capture might be extinct soon due to many reasons. It is not a game changer where it dramatically reduces processing time or cuts costs by a large margin or provides real-time information of the state of accounts to finance department heads. Both, scan-and-capture as well as paper invoices, go through a long processing cycle. Not being wholly digitalized, it leaves out the advantages of error-free invoicing which can reduce exceptions and also eliminate manual processes. Scan-and-capture fails to offer the total benefits of automation, making it a half-hearted approach towards digitalization.

To know about the benefits of a completely digitized e-Invoicing process catch up our next blog on fast, affordable and portal based touchless e-invoicing.

If you want to read more about the current state of automation download our whitepaper on “Is scan and capture going the dinosaur way”.