In a constantly evolving international marketplace, the financial department and C-suite must remain ahead of the curve to avoid risk, fraud, and business interruptions. In addition, recent global events necessitated technology adoption to stay productive, including the best AP automation software to maintain supplier relationships and ensure timely payments.
During natural disasters and pandemics, remote work became the new normal. Many employees continue to work remotely for improved work-life balance. As a result, security concerns remain a top priority to avoid fraud and other risks.
Failure to completely adopt automation leaves room for error. Discover the best ways to keep your AP automation software security to protect your business, customers, and brand reputation.
Paper invoices and manual processes are time-consuming and tedious. In addition, there is plenty of opportunity for human error. Partial automation leaves gaps, necessitating a combination of manual and automated processes that also leave room for confusion.
With that in mind, accounts payable departments are researching ways to improve the accuracy of invoice processing. In fact, 38 percent of AP professionals want to innovate to eliminate payment errors. Late payments can lead to fees, delayed production, and interruption or termination of supplier relationships.
Total automation eliminates the paper chase and provides relevant financial data in real-time. Enhanced visibility and transparency help the team maintain timely payments, pinpoint potential risks, and eliminate fraudulent activity. Plus, reducing payment errors supports production and profits.
Anomaly Detection - Risk and Fraud
Anomaly detection is now crucial to prevent risk and fraud. For example, organizations use anomaly detection in financial transactions to classify data into normal patterns and detect when transactions vary from usual behavior. A deviation shows a potential risk or fraudulent activities. As a result, companies use AP automation software to identify loss and fraud prevention risks.
What are the possible risks?
Processing many invoices manually inevitably leads to costly oversights and errors. For example, suppliers may increase prices and send multiple invoices without detection in a busy environment. AP automation detects price spikes, slow increases in invoices, and other inconsistencies that cost organizations money.
What are the potential fraudulent activities?
AP automation software also offers a higher level of security for fraud detection, such as billing-related issues, including skimming and improper expense reimbursement. Organizations identify anomalies and establish security measures to avoid financial loss due to fraud.
Define the Fraud Process and Train Employees
One of the most effective ways to maintain security is establishing a process for employees to identify fraudulent activities. When the team knows what to look for and how to handle it, they feel more comfortable reporting questionable acts. Training employees on AP cyber fraud detection and reporting are crucial to ensure timely reporting of insecure activities.
Also, senior-level fraud is always a concern as top executives have access to various financial information and assets. Authorizing several people to review transactions helps detect inconsistencies reduce threats with updated data accessible in real-time.
Eliminate Check Fraud
Paper is a pain point in AP and procurement because it slows down processes. In the past, it could take several days to send and receive a check - then a few more for it to clear. Plus, paper checks create multiple opportunities for fraud.
Electronic payments are more secure, faster and reduce the risk of fraudulent activity. In addition, speedier invoice turnover means eliminating late payments and finding opportunities for discounts for early payments.
Establish Safety Checks
Another way to keep your AP automation software secure is by establishing safety checks. A system of checks and balances in real-time provides visibility to detect inconsistencies quickly. In addition, multi-level approvals and greater transparency create layers of security, making it impossible for fraud to go undetected.
Plus, AP automation provides a streamlined workflow with access to review by multiple people in a secure cloud environment. As a result, team collaboration and approvals take just seconds or minutes rather than days or weeks.
Talk About Potential Fraud
Organizations rely on AP automation software for fraud detection and risk management, timely payments, and faster vendor vetting. However, companies must provide continued information and training to keep employees apprised of the latest risks.
For example, invoice approvals and email phishing are areas of possible fraudulent activity. Establishing policies and ongoing dialogue with employees creates a consistent approach to eliminating fraud and maintaining the highest level of security at all times.
Maintaining AP automation software security is crucial to avoid costly losses to your bottom line and brand reputation. Today, talk to an experienced industry partner to learn more about cyber security, fraud prevention, and risk management through intelligent automation.
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