If you ask businesses of all sizes what their key goals are when it comes to accounts payable, you will likely hear “save time” and “save money,” while also preventing fraud. Yet, most companies today still use manual accounts payable processes despite the distinct benefits of automated accounts payable (AP). Accounts payable automation tools create efficiencies across the board that deliver lasting business and financial value.
How can accounts payable automation software be more efficient?
When you eliminate manual data entry and reduce errors, your AP software is instantly more efficient. In addition, AP automation solutions enable secure payments and simple online approvals while generating an easy-to-follow audit trail, which creates efficiencies in the moment and down the road.
By switching from manual to digital, the entire accounts payment process becomes more efficient and effective.
What is automated accounts payable?
In a nutshell, accounts payable automation engages the latest cloud-based technology to reduce manual accounting tasks, streamline business operations, improve accuracy and enable custom control over critical financial processes.
Accounts payable automation tools will make it easy for your AP team to submit invoices and process payments through a single platform—all of which can save time and money.
The benefits of accounts payable automation
The benefits of automated accounts payable are significant and they start with the two classic requests from accounts payable:
1) Save time
Nearly 60 percent of finance professionals agree that the invoice and payment process takes too long, according to a recent study. Imagine: Less time to process invoices. Automated routing. Easy search. No lost or misplaced invoices. Your business will benefit from notable time savings when you streamline the approval process and the right person receives the right invoice, right on time. Automated accounts payable solutions lead to nearly 20 percent fewer days payable outstanding (source). This means that AP automation benefits will save your business time.
2) Save money
Manual time is expensive—as are manual processes. In fact, research suggests that it costs three times as much to process invoices manually versus the same process with automated accounting software. By eliminating manual work, your business can reduce labor costs, particularly those associated with data entry, storage and postage, while ensuring that payments are always made on time. An automated AP system will also alert you of over-payments before they happen.
3) Prevent fraud
Fraud is more pervasive than ever, with more than 74 percent of companies worldwide targeted in 2019. The chief benefits of AP automation include fraud prevention, since automated AP accounting software can control access to invoices. Likewise, enhanced visibility into the payment workflow will automatically flag duplicate payments, false billing or other suspicious activity. Your software can help you maintain compliance, avoid fees and create a clear audit trail.
4) Improve accuracy
Accounts payable automation tools reliably reduce errors and bolster accuracy. The software eliminates manual data entry and validates data against enterprise resources planning, so duplicate or erroneous payments are easy to detect.
5) Increase productivity
Eliminating manual work naturally boosts productivity—not to mention employee morale—across the company. Automatic routing and validation will also reduce errors and give your finance team more time to focus on the rest of their work. Many workers in the field report increased burnout in the face of growing invoice numbers, and automated AP software is a great way to relieve some of this burden and free up their time.
6) Bolster collaboration
Manual processes typically require paper to be placed in a specific location in a particular office—which is hardly convenient for today’s global, flexible workforce. Accounts payable automation software gives companies total control and access to their AP data and transactions, bringing teams across multiple locations together to better manage cash flow and vendor information. It also shares information in real-time, making it easier for everyone on the team to collaborate, no matter where they are, and make sound decisions based on the latest financial data.
7) Full visibility and data transparency
Automated accounts payable solutions create instant transparency: You know where every invoice is. You can gauge employee productivity for reviews. Enhanced AP dashboards provide the visibility and transparency you need and your customers want.
8) Customized to your business’ needs
Customize your AP workflows and route invoices where you need them to go based on various levels of authorization. Custom mobile apps and accounting software adapt to your company’s specific needs so you get everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
Accounts payable automation benefits do not stop there. You will also appreciate ease of integration with your current systems and software, so your team doesn’t have to struggle with a new system. You can streamline your technology, avoid duplicate work and enjoy the ease of use that comes with automation. Ultimately, faster payments and error-free work will strengthen your supplier relationships, which can boost your customer service and client reviews as well.
How to automate accounts payable
You can transform accounts payable and streamline the payment process with a company that provides leading integrated AP automation. You can start by booking an AP automation demo, reading customer reviews and creating a list of your AP needs.
To avoid AP automation challenges, it is critical to find a configurable accounts payable software that makes it easy to transition from manual to a standardized and automated process. One-size-fits-all rarely fits the bill when it comes to automated AP software; your business should match its list of particular needs in terms of scalability and services with providers.
Build interest and advocacy within your company by sharing the many benefits of AP automation. Then, you can contact companies that specialize in automated accounts payable solutions to get a feel for their solutions and to better understand your options.
What can be automated in accounts payable?
It starts by shortening the business payments cycle, which can lead to early-payment bonuses. You can entirely get rid of paper invoices with a solution that electronically captures, digitizes and processes them—regardless of format.
Thanks to artificial intelligence in AP, you will gain new data insights and analytics that will support forecasting, planning and auditing. Speaking of audits, they, too, can be automated with AP automation solutions. All invoice data—from supplier details to payments—will be synchronized across the entire payments lifecycle.
What can be automated in accounts payable? Your company’s entire financial supply chain.
Significant accounts payable savings add up
While “save time” and “save money” may top the list of needs and wishes when it comes to accounts payable, businesses of all sizes can benefit from a wealth of efficiencies, financial protections and productivity that all result from automated AP software and processes.
With state-of-the-art accounts payable automation from Medius, you can increase efficiencies and decrease exceptions, saving both valuable time and money. Medius can also help you identify and mitigate fraud risks, optimize working capital and ensure that every invoice is paid on time.
You can contact us today to schedule a demo or learn more about the vast benefits of AP automation for your business.
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