How to take the complexity out of payments

  • 27 May 2021
  • Best Practice & Strategies
How to take the complexity out of payments Image

Ensuring the online payment process is simple and secure is another way to take the hassle out of making payments. Discover how a singular payment automation solution takes care of all check, ACH, and card payments without the errors associated with manual processing.

Learning how to take the complexity out of payment processes ensures organizations make timely payments. From maintaining strong supplier relationships to realizing early payment discounts, a single automated electronic payment process eliminates late payments.

The complexity of payment processes

Nearly half of businesses combat B2B payments fraud or lose money to fraud every year. Add the fact that one in two companies makes at least half their B2B payments manually, and there is room for error. Consider the impact of cross-border payments, with almost two out of three companies originating payments in three or more countries, and the complexity of payment processes is evident. 

The current payment process starts by selecting invoices for payment in their ERP then separating the payments by payment type, with multiple steps for check payments, ACH payments, and card payments. The next steps include fielding vendor questions, managing and reconciling payment exceptions, and reconciling payment by type. Cloud AP automation and payments processing streamlines the invoice to pay process, eliminating errors associated with multiple steps to process payments and manual intervention. 

 

 

Establishing an efficient invoice to pay process

Natural disasters and COVID-19 proved to business leaders that processes dependent on people versus automation lead to disruption. As companies scrambled to bring back-office departments such as accounts payable into automation, business continuity became a top priority. Establishing an efficient procure-to-pay process is crucial to ensure timely payments to suppliers and uninterrupted operations.

Cloud-based AP automation and spend management solutions provide remote workers a secure environment with real-time updates. Invoices are paid on-time by the most efficient digital means with updated financial reports to keep everyone from accounts payable clerks to the C-suite in the know. A singular, automated modular platform provides control over spend management while avoiding late payments, high invoice processing costs, and fraud exposure that can compromise a business’ reputation. 

Reduce costs and save time

Human error costs business billions of dollars annually. Tedious manual processes put accounts payable professionals in the back office for hours. Eliminating manual intervention saves time and reduces the costs associated with inevitable human errors. Implementing AP automation and payments processing gets rid of the multiple payment routines that leave room for mistakes. AP professionals have more time to focus on supplier relationships, discounts for early payments, and other cost-saving strategies.

Payments automation makes it possible to pay domestic suppliers via multiple methods such as check, ACH, and card, as well as international suppliers, all through a single channel. As a result, multiple processes are consolidated in a singular secure pathway to reduce risk and costs. Encouraging the suppliers to move from costly check payments to quicker digital payments helps cut corporate costs and reduce fraud. Suppliers get paid faster and more efficiently, improving vendor relationships and supporting negotiations for discounts in the future. 

Improve security and reputation

Many companies scrambled to keep up with security when remote work became the new normal during the pandemic. Since COVID-19, 80 percent of firms have seen an increase in cyber attacks. Despite that fact, 70 percent of security leaders anticipate their budget for 2021 will shrink. Investing in a fully integrated AP automation and payments solution today helps companies cut costs tomorrow.  For example, eliminating checks helps reduce exposure and fraud while optimizing efficiency through digital payments.

Suppliers submit invoices in different formats, and the AP scans paper invoices using intelligent invoice capture. Automated cost distribution, routing, and matching eliminate time-consuming manual processes that leave room for exposure and error.  Approvals are made in the cloud in real-time from any location or device, enhancing collaboration and transparency. Invoices are posted and ready for payment with inventory value updated. Minimal manual intervention is required for exceptions, saving time, and supporting timely invoice payments in a secure environment. Fraud costs companies at every level of operation, from in-house fraud to cyber attacks. Real-time updates reveal issues before they become costly problems.

Stay ahead of the curve

Recent global events proved the value of automation to business leadership. Companies with manual and partially automation solutions scrambled to support back-office operations such as accounts payable. As remote work becomes the new normal post-pandemic, talented AP professionals will expect companies to offer flexibility and modern automation. 

Adopting invoice to pay solutions today helps companies stay ahead of the curve. Simplified payment processes reduce risk, improve supplier relationships, encourage real-time collaboration, and provide measurable financial returns. Plus, companies attract the best talent by offering remote work opportunities fueled by the latest technologies.

Taking the complexity out of payment processes is the first step toward business continuity and reducing fraud and costs. A robust invoice to pay solution helps companies remain globally competitive and boost the bottom line.

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