Unlocking the Top 10 Benefits of Accounts Payable Automation
Accounts Payable is one of the most tedious, error prone and time consuming parts of any business but, fortunately, it’s also the easiest to automate. In this blog, we highlight the top 10 benefits of accounts payable automation.
What is Accounts Payable Automation?
Accounts Payable Automation is a software system that minimises human intervention and helps to eliminate error-prone tasks from your accounts payable function by streamlining and automating your accounts payable processes, providing better transparency and control over critical financial data.
What are the benefits of Accounts Payable Automation?
Automating your Accounts Payable processes has many benefits. If you’re looking for ways to cut costs, increase productivity and drive business growth, Accounts Payable Automation is a great place to start.
Automating your accounts payable processes can dramatically speed up invoice processing time, reduce the risks associated with manual processes, like errors and fraud and give you greater visibility of your cash flow, as well as freeing your employees up to focus on more meaningful tasks.
In a recent study by the The Institute of Financial Operations and Leadership (IFOL) they found that the top processing challenges for AP teams were time spent processing invoice exceptions (22%) and too much manual data entry (21%). The main issues caused by these challenges are,
- Stressed AP teams (30%)
- Damaged relationships with suppliers (21%)
- Delays in delivery of goods and services (20%)
With accounts payable automation you can eliminate these issues and radically improve your accounts payable operation.
Speed up invoice processing time, eliminate errors, increase visibility and improve cash flow
Accounts Payable Automation can:
- Cut invoice processing time by up to 80%
- Reduce the risk of errors and fraud
- Speed up the approvals process
- Get complete visibility of cash flow
- Make life easier for your employees, suppliers and customers
- Facilitate automatic statement reconciliation
Top 10 Benefits of Accounts Payable Automation
- Save Time
Accounts Payable Automation eliminates manual paperwork and dramatically reduces invoice processing times. No more chasing people for approvals and signatures. Approval is requested automatically from the relevant people and they are reminded and prompted to respond at regular intervals.
Save up to 80% of the time you currently spend on your AP processes
Processing paper-based invoices is a laborious and time-consuming process – the invoice comes in the post, it has to be passed around to everyone for review, they have to be chased for approval and then the details have to be manually entered into the system.
Goldman Sachs have estimated that AP automation can drive 70-80% time-savings for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs).
AP automation systems scan the paper invoices into the system and automatically extract and capture the key data (like PO number, client name, date, amount etc.) from emailed invoices. They match them to the PO in your system, spot and flag any errors, enabling you to resolve any issues, before sending them on to the designated people for approval. Once they’re checked and approved they are automatically sent to your ERP or Finance system for payment. Once they’re paid, they are stored in the system so they can easily be found and checked in the future. In addition, leading APA solutions like TraX APA can facilitate auto reconciliation whereby the system auto highlights any invoices missing from supplier statements and auto sends a request for these invoices to the supplier.
- Save Money
Automating your accounts payable processes and moving away from traditionally paper-based activities means you’ll immediately see huge savings on paper, ink, printing, postage and storage.
Your employees will no longer have to manually enter information or waste time searching for documents, which will significantly reduce labour costs.
“EIS TraX Foundation and TraX Accounts Payable have easily saved us a few days a week and even saved us having to hire another staff member.”
(Gillian Coakley, Accounts and HR Manager, Beechfield Healthcare)
- Approve and process invoices from anywhere
With anytime, anywhere access, the relevant people can now view and approve an invoice from wherever they are, so no more waiting for the CEO to get back from a business trip or sales reps to make it back to the office. You can also get complete visibility of the status of an invoice at any time so you can clearly see who has seen it, who has approved it and who has queried it.
- Identify Errors and Eliminate Fraud
By automating the process and minimising human intervention, you also minimise the risk of errors. Anomalies can be spotted and flagged upfront and duplicate payments or bills or fraudulent invoices can be easily detected.
- Keep your Data Secure
Data stored in filing cabinets is at risk of loss, theft and fire or flood damage. AP Automation stores your data safely and securely and can also control who has access.
- Increase Visibility and Control
Being able to get a bird’s-eye view of the entire AP process means that there are no bottle necks to hold up payments. You can instantly see what stage each invoice is at in the approvals process – who has seen it and when, who has approved it, who has queried it and who still hasn’t responded. This eliminates the risk of the invoice getting lost under a pile of paperwork on someone’s desk.
- Optimise Cash Flow
Better visibility of the company’s finances means you can time payments more effectively to maximise cash flow. Being able to process and settle invoices quickly helps to build good relationships with suppliers and means that you can take advantage of any early payment discounts.
- Make Business Decisions with Confidence
No more guesswork on the financial status of the organisation. Having a complete overview of all of the company’s finances, including what is being spent where, what’s owed, what’s outstanding and being able to forecast upcoming expenses gives a more accurate picture, which enables decisions to me made quickly and confidently.
- Stay Tax Compliant and Audit-Ready
Having full traceability and accountability of your entire payment system makes tax returns easy and means you’re always audit-ready.
- Automating your AP processes is Win-Win for Everyone
When you automate your Accounts Payable processes everyone benefits – not just your organisation and your employees, but your suppliers and your customers too.
- Organisational Benefits – The whole organisation will immediately start to feel the benefits of a more organised, transparent, more efficient workplace, saving time and money. You can look forward to happier staff and a more productive working environment.
- Employee Benefits – Your employees find it easier to access the information they need to do their jobs effectively, freeing them from tedious manual tasks and enabling them to focus on business growth.
- Supplier Benefits – Ensuring that suppliers are paid on time strengthens business relationships.
- Customer Benefits – Customers benefit from quicker response times to their queries and a more professional service.
Want to find out more about how AP automation can benefit your business?
And there you have. The benefits of accounts payable automation speak for themselves. It’s time to ask yourself, does your accounts payable team waste endless hours on manual data entry? Do you find it hard to get invoices approved and paid on time? Do you want to avoid costly mistakes? Do you want better visibility on your finances? Accounts Payable Automation software will deliver all this and more.
At Enterprise Imaging Systems (EIS) we’ve been helping our clients save time, money and a whole lot of hassle for over 20 years. If you’d like to find out more about what our accounts payable automation software can do for your business, talk to one of our experts today.