Accountants by nature are wired to get very distraught over errors made in an accounting system. A key job responsibility of all accountants is locating and resolving errors. From unbalanced balance sheets to double entered vendor invoices, quite often being the hero in uncovering the error, isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. A great deal of time is lost in any accounting supervisor’s day whether you oversee one accounting clerk or dozens of clerks on a daily basis. Huge amounts of a supervisor’s day is lost due to simple human errors made in data entry. And quite often errors, if uncaught by a supervisor, could result in costly mistakes for a company.
During 2014, Bloomberg BNA surveyed 200 in house tax and accounting professionals to determine the top five end user technology mistakes that may be costly to their businesses. The top mistake was manually inputting incorrect data into an enterprise system. According to BNA, in 2013, US businesses incurred nearly $7 billion in IRS civil penalties due to incorrectly reporting business income and employment values. *
Accountants are always seeking ways to reduce errors. Data capture software vendors continue to release software products into the industry to help companies reduce the errors that accompany manual data entry systems. Imagine deploying a software system that would automatically read the fields on incoming vendor accounts payable invoices and then automatically enter those data fields accurately into your accounts payable accounting system. Are those systems perfect? Well, no system is ever absolutely fool-proof, but following the software vendor’s recommendations for maximizing the field recognition is of utmost importance. Your software vendor will make recommendations regarding the hardware needed to support your anticipated document volumes. They will also recommend the scan settings you should use to maximize the readability of the invoices once they are scanned. Another huge contributing factor to the success of a software system deployment is making sure that your users are properly trained in the use of the product. These are just a few of the things that will contribute to the success of an invoice processing software system.
So where were we? Oh, yeah, back at that accountant getting all distraught over all of those errors ending up in his system and getting upset because vendors were getting paid way more than what the invoice amount actually stated they should have been paid. Well, things are better for him now. He spent the time and researched the best accounts payable invoice processing system out there that met their needs. Now he isn’t the hero for uncovering errors, but he is the hero for deploying a system that is preventing them from occurring in the first place.
*Source: “The Top Tax & Accounting Mistakes that Cost Companies Millions,” Bloomberg BNA, Software Products, December 2014