No matter the situation, no matter the employee, no matter the time, any situation that involves manual data entry is going to be subject to error. And it’s not necessarily someone’s fault—there are lots of things that can happen to make your data entry just a little less than perfect.
Here are some of the problems that can be caused with manual data entry:
1. Human Error
The first on our list is perhaps the most obvious. No matter how great of an employee you have, there will be mistakes—it happens to everyone. People can have an off day, they may have their fingers on the wrong keys, or they could have a workplace distraction. Now multiply that by however many people you have doing data entry.
Not only do you have the expense of an employee’s salary, but also their workstation, computer, and any time taken to train them. On top of that, if the training is inadequate, employees will not perform at their best.
With any manual task, data entry by hand takes up a lot of time. Employees have to look at the file or record to enter, enter the data, and then double check their work. While these aren’t many steps, this does take a lot of time to perform and just as much to check.
Worst case scenario, these errors can cost your organization millions.
3. Missing Items
With manual data entry, the employee usually will be handling paper invoices, bills, and other important documents. With the documents being delivered, sorted, used, and filed, it’s not uncommon for something to go missing. If the wrong file goes missing, it can lead to financial penalties and strained relationships with clients and suppliers. It can also lead to our next problem.
4. Inaccurate Data
When data is entered incorrectly, it can lead to all sorts of problems. You may have wrong account numbers, prices, or information. And if you rely on this kind of information to make big decisions, you could be making the wrong ones.
So what can you do about it?
If you want to stick with manual data entry, make sure that you invest the time in proper training and build in some quality control checks to ensure that your employees are giving the best output.
But another choice, especially when it comes to accounts payable, is to invest in an automated AP system. An automated AP system not only cuts down on expenses and human error, but you can also:
- Use AP processing data to forecast cash flow
- Form better cash management plans
- Increase visibility into invoice processing
- Build up relationships with suppliers
When it comes to suppliers, you can even incorporate a portal for them. This gives them the ability to get a better idea of where they stand with payment, deliveries, and other information. Also having that open line of communication between suppliers and other departments makes almost every process and function much smoother and less prone to error.
Finally, sometimes suppliers give businesses an early payment discount. With your system streamlined and costs cut back, you can take advantage of these savings which will save your business even more!
This post is part of the comprehensive Datamation Guide to AP Automation.