Regardless of what kind of business you’re in, processing accounts payable (AP) is one of the most high-stakes tasks there is. This makes effective management of your finance and accounting (F&A) administration, extremely important.
Hospitality Industry Challenges
When you look at the US alone, you have a business-to-business payments market valued at $22 trillion faced by a paradoxical high volume of invoices. The hospitality industry as a key contributor to this statistic also deals with an incredibly high number of AP invoices. This problem gets compounded when you factor in hospitality chains with multiple properties. Hotel managers have so many demands competing for their time and attention, that it’s difficult to see where AP processing bottle necks exist.
As things stand today the processing of hospitality AP is still heavily reliant on manual intervention.
This manual entry system is costing hotels time and money.
Not to mention the high margin of error associated with manual data entry coming close to around 3.6% of total invoices. Accountants are further pressured by invoices coming in through various formats like paper, PDF attachments, excel sheets, google drives or share point files.
Over all this manual-centric approach to AP processing creates a lack of visibility in accounts, delayed invoice approval and limited AP standardization, due to the extant disparate systems being used. In this regard your business accounts will also be left vulnerable to fraudulent activities. Potentially in the form of repeated vendor submissions for the same product or service and employee expense claims that do not follow company policy.
With all these complications increasing difficulty in AP process management, Intelligent Automation (IA) presents itself as an opportune solution for transforming hospitality accounting systems.
How IPA Automates AP Processing
Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is based on leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and RPA (Robotic Process) technologies to augment processes otherwise requiring human intervention, in this case – AP processing. AI uses technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) to drive AP automation. AI automates processing of unstructured content while RPA enables end-to-end workflow automation. With these tools integrated with your existing IT systems, the hospitality accounting process becomes much more streamlined and efficient.
The end-to-end Integration of IPA with AP processing is seamless and non-disruptive. So, you don’t have to worry about spending loads of money to implement a solution that temporarily puts your accountants on hold. With AP automation in control, your accountants can let technology offset the burden by digitally sifting through reams of paperwork and data entry.
Enterprises using digital payable platforms have seen an 81% decrease in processing costs and a 73% acceleration in processing cycle times. In the hospitality industry, over 80% of executives feel that AI does lead to a competitive advantage. Operators of hotel chains have also realized Return on Investment (ROI) from implementing such AP automation platforms close to $2 million annually.
All these benefits stem from an IPA driven next-gen operating model creating a time and cost-efficient accounting system, by taking advantage of AP processing’s highly transactional and rules-based nature. Plus, with Large-Scale Integration (LSI) of an AP automation system backed by Intelligent Process Automation, you will no longer be required to hire additional accounting staff during peak times at hotels.
AP automation is an easy to integrate – scalable, agile, modular and flexible technology that can significantly impact F&A processes, and in extension an organization’s relationship with its vendors and employees.
Are you interested in implementing IPA automation for your hospitality business? You can reach out to us at Rapid Acceleration Partners (RAP) for a detailed demo to understand how our AI solutions, the RAPFlow platform and RPA tool RAPBot, can truly benefit your hospitality establishment.