Why companies need touchless invoice processing and accounts payable automation

  • 19 Jun 2020
  • AP Automation
Why companies need touchless invoice processing and accounts payable automation Image

Accounts payable professionals are discussing the benefits of accounts payable automation with the C-suite for a good reason. Referred to as touchless invoice processing, routine and time-consuming accounts payable processes once performed by the AP team are now automated with no human touch required.  

Companies that implemented AP automation before the pandemic instantly realized its many benefits, such as supporting remote workers and keeping track of crucial financial data in real-time. Discover the advantages of investing in accounts payable automation today and into the future. 

Benefits of Touchless Invoice Processing 

Touchless invoice processing eliminates paper invoices and the frustrating hassles of manually matching invoices with purchase orders. Once a tedious process performed by hand, requiring teams of multiple accounts payable clerks, these routine functions are now automated. Human error is inevitable, especially when dealing with detailed transactions. Accounts payable automation offers the highest level of accuracy, eliminating costly errors that can occur when the AP team is rushing to complete invoicing on-time. In addition, accounts payable automation supports accurate price/cost analysis and helps the AP department take advantage of cash discounts. Instead of focusing on mundane tasks, the AP team analyzes pertinent financial data to maximize discounts and boost the bottom line.  

Determining prices and costs to find the most competitive vendors reduces production costs and increases profits. AP professionals have time for more meaningful work, such as negotiating with vendors to get discounts for early payments. As a result, accounts payable automation is changing how the department operates. The AP team enjoys more strategic work that has a notable impact on the overall organization. The AP department is no longer a back-office function as the team works closely with management to find ways to save money. Automation has supported remote workers during the pandemic, proving its return on investment. This working model may continue in the future, supporting everyone from the CEO to parents working part-time in the AP department. Everyone can work and collaborate in real-time, regardless of location or time. 

Less Manual Work and Fewer Errors 

From invoice matching to year-end reports, tedious manual processes caused bottlenecks, errors, and delays in the AP department. Even the most experienced AP team members make mistakes, which can add up to lost revenues and damaged relationships with critical vendors. Accounts payable automation performs essential work touchlessly and accurately to protect the organization’s operations and reputation. 

As a result, the AP team and procurement work more closely together to establish and maintain the best working relationships with vendors. From vetting valuable vendors to negotiating discounts for early payments and bulk orders, AP automation leaves key personnel free to perform work that matters to the organization’s overall financial health of the organization. During the pandemic, it has been crucial to find viable vendors with competitive pricing. Collaboration and access to financial updates in real-time enables companies to continue doing business during this challenging time. 

Forecasting for the Future 

Adopting accounts payment automation saves time and maximizes the skills of an AP professional. Companies now turn to the AP team for financial information to make significant decisions about production and profitability. Shorter lead times and automated coding support enable more timely and accurate financial and cash flow forecasting. In turn, this has a positive effect on monthly and annual closing. 

During uncertain global circumstances, such as the pandemic or natural disasters, business is interrupted for an undetermined time, Forecasting for the future is difficult without accurate numbers at the fingertips of everyone from the C-suite to part-time accounting clerks. The ROI for implementing touchless invoice processing is notable when businesses support remote workers and continue working during disastrous times.  

On-point Pricing and Cost Analysis 

With accounts payable automation, organization personnel make better decisions in supplier selection, pricing of their products, and cost analysis because of the more detailed and structured cost allocation to item. The visual comparison is easy and ensures the selection of the most competitive vendors. 

Consider the supply issues during the pandemic, such as toilet paper during the early days. Accounts payable automation helps in vetting and adding new suppliers quickly and supports companies in building new relationships and keeping track of existing ones. Once again, companies see the advantage of procurement and the AP department working hand-in-hand via accounts payable automation. 

Discount Opportunities 

Companies capture cash discounts from suppliers by paying invoices rapidly and improving revenues for the business. Early payments are easy with touchless processes that are automatic, accurate, and scheduled to benefit the company and save money. 

Plus, accounts payable supports a borderless economy internationally with a consistent approach to touchless invoice processing. In a global pandemic, reaching beyond the local resources is crucial to remain afloat. 

Businesses have realized a significant ROI for investing in accounts payable automation before the pandemic. Teams were able to work remotely together seamlessly, keeping companies going during the quarantine. With access to pertinent financial data in real-time, crucial decisions are made to save money and continue production. The ROI for AP automation will be rapidly attained, and benefits realized for years to come, especially as remote work becomes a new normal. 

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