For generations, the accounts payable team manually processed invoices. The process was laborious and time-consuming. In the last decade, the introduction of accounts payable automation has transformed the AP department. Discover the essential ways AP automation is helping the C-suite improve efficiency and cut operating costs.
The Need for Speed in the AP Department
The business world moves faster than ever. Improved communication methods and other technologies simplify operations. Routine tasks, once performed by an educated professional, are now done by an automation solution.
The work is done quickly and efficiently to keep up with the pace of doing business in a fast-paced world. From employees and the C-suite to vendors and suppliers, everyone gets updates immediately.
Take Advantage of Savings Opportunities
Manual processing is unpredictable and painstaking. It is difficult to determine how long it takes to complete manual tasks since each employee works differently. And when the AP department is backlogged, the time frame to pay invoices is tight.
Automated solutions streamline this process, enabling the AP department to pay invoices well before the due date. As a result, businesses can take advantage of early payment discounts offered by specific vendors.
These savings can boost the bottom line for any organization, a major benefit for the CFO.
Ensure Compliance With Vendors
The CFO must ensure all financial issues and transactions go smoothly. The implementation of accounts payable automation takes these processes to the next level of production.
Instead of running close to invoice due dates, or missing them, invoicing is processed ahead of schedule. Timely processing ensures compliance with vendors terms and eliminates late payments to help companies avoid paying late fees.
As a result, the relationships with vendors improves, which may result in discount opportunities in the future.
Access Updated Data in Real Time
With an AP automation solution in place, updated financial data appears in real time. Employees and the C-suite can access this information from anywhere at any time.
A CFO traveling or working from home for the day remains on top of the events of the day and week. If there are necessary adjustments, or problems addressed, the CFO knows right away how to handle the situation before it gets more significant. And the accessibility of data to everyone makes collaboration easy.
Analyze Data to Determine Financial Patterns
AP automation summarizes and stores essential data about the finance department. A CFO can periodically review the latest data to determine financial patterns over the past week, month, and year.
These patterns help the C-suite predict future costs and cash flow to refine their processes. This foresight helps the company meet the needs of its organization to create opportunities to earn and save money.
Create Strategic Opportunities for the AP Team
Automated solutions change the way to AP department operates. In the past, the AP team focused on manual tasks. Now the AP team has an opportunity to become a strategic partner to the C-suite.
Instant access to data gives AP professionals the ability to focus on business development that benefits everyone in the company. Automation makes it easier to detect fraud and handle the problem before it escalates. Plus, the AP department can find ways to save money and improve vendor relationships.
Reduce the Paper Chase
One of the most apparent benefits of automation is the reduction of paperwork. Processing and storing piles of files is cumbersome. While some paperwork is still required, it ultimately becomes part of the automation system.
Some vendors may decide to get on-board with automation, while others might opt for manual purchase orders. Either way, AP automation reduces the paper chase.
Another example is invoice approval, which the system handles rather than having the AP staff chase after an authorized person to do it.
Savvy organizations have already adopted accounts payable automation. From the CFO to the AP team, everyone benefits from the use of advanced technologies.