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understand accounts payable automation

Understanding AP Automation

Organisations feel constant pressure to improve operations at minimal cost while maintaining a high level of customer service. Accounts payable automation (AP Automation) cuts invoice processing time by 50%, refocuses manpower and time previously spent on manual data input, eliminates mistakes, ensures on-time payments, improves working capital management, and optimizes performance.

Such a platform also allows for greater collaboration and accountability as well as improved security and reporting, all of which results in improved efficiency, time savings, and a dramatic increase in ROI. Keep reading if you would like to understand AP Automation better.

What is accounts payable automation?

AP Automation allows companies to automate various invoice and payment processing tasks that are typically done manually.

AP automation platforms begin by capturing digital or scanned invoice information through technology known as optical character recognition (OCR). Information from the invoice is then automatically input and stored in the AP software, removing the need for manual data entry. The invoice is then coded and routed to approvers through a digital workflow specifically tailored to your company’s needs.

AP automation platforms are integrated with your company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system(s) and provide several invaluable tools such as payment processing, reporting capabilities, vendor portal access, and audit and search views. Accounts payable automation also significantly reduces the risk of fraud through numerous safeguards, encryption, and banking-level security measures work together to protect your documents and keep your company safe from phishing scams.

Your AP department handles massive amounts of data, such as purchase orders, financial reports, supplier and client contracts, and customer invoices. The department’s effectiveness, as well as its efficiency, directly impacts your cash flow position, credit score, and, perhaps most importantly, your vendor and supplier relationships.
Accounts Payable automation takes the tedious hassle out of repetitive tasks. For example, your finance team won’t have to enter a vendor’s information each time an invoice is processed. Automation eliminates manual data entry and can cut down invoice processing expenses by as much as 80 percent. Plus, such a solution will capture all pertinent data and store it in an organised way, allowing the AP department to streamline the entire invoice approval process.

Benefits of AP Automation:

But that’s not all—AP automation solutions also have these added benefits:
• Online tracking
• Supplier categorization
• E-invoicing
• Payment submission capabilities
• Reporting capabilities
• Built-in OCR scanning
• Custom workflow and routing
• Spend analytics
• Intuitive invoice user interface
• Multiple payment methods
• Tax compliances
• Expense Management

Why automate accounts payable function?

Businesses are increasingly recognizing the need to automate their accounts payable departments; 74% of companies that haven’t automated their accounts payable processes yet plan to do so within 3 years. Organisations want to create a future where accounts payable is no longer just a tactical, back-office function.

Positive business outcomes of AP Automation include:

• Reduced effort & expense: Cut time and cost per invoice by up to 50%
• Supercharged performance: Reallocate time previously spent on manual processing
• Elimination of mistakes: Identify errors on invoices & spikes in consumption
• Late fees avoided: Ensure on-time payment with more efficient workflows
• Actionable opportunities: Turn early capture of invoices into early payment discounts
• Improved relationships: Eliminate late payments and provide more transparency for suppliers

Who benefits from AP automation?

AP Automation provides financial and operational benefits across your entire organization, but your finance employees will really feel the love. The main 3 people that will benefit from AP Automation are CFOs, Controllers, and AP Managers.

• Greater security, reduced risk
• Peak performance
• Reliable reporting

• Improved processes
• Future-forward mindset
• Approver empowerment

AP Managers
• Greater collaboration
• Reduced errors
• Searchable database & history
• Better vendor relationships

Stay tuned to find out how to Automate Accounts Payable function.