Accounts Payable Automation – Debunking the Myths

Accounts payable automation provides considerable benefits for companies of all sizes. From saving time when it comes to invoice processing to reducing errors and saving money throughout the process, accounts payable automation is easy to implement and immediately effective. Businesses can even take advantage of savings offered for early payments as well as volume rebates.

The benefits of AP automation software may be obvious, but some companies are still afraid to pull the trigger. Myths surrounding accounts payable automation cause businesses to hesitate and miss out on cost saving opportunities. Keep reading to learn more about the truth behind five misconceptions.

Accounts Payable Automation is Too Expensive 

There is a prevalent assumption that accounts payable automation software is too expensive for the average business. However, many AP process automation tools use services based in the cloud. Upfront costs are much lower, and you do not have to purchase software or license maintenance.

When considering the actual cost of AP automation solutions, it is important to keep the cost-saving benefits in mind. Automating your AP process can save your business thousands of dollars per year. Vendors are paid on time and late fees are eliminated. Early payment discounts are available because e-invoicing enables you to immediately pay accounts. Information on supply levels and inventory are accurate and consistent across all departments, and analytics provides robust insight into consolidating orders or boosting vendors rates. Automating the AP process also provides direct cost savings. You no longer must purchase paper checks or envelopes. Costs for paper, printer ink, and mailing supplies also decrease immediately. Your business will require less storage space for these materials and spend less on maintenance for printers.

Our Company is Not the Right Size for Automation 

Myths surrounding AP automation fall on both ends of the spectrum. Some companies protest because they think they are too small while others believe their operations are too big to benefit. The truth is that AP automation solutions are cloud-based and easy to scale. No matter the volume of transactions, your software can be customized to meet your unique needs.

Smaller organizations can benefit from automation by reducing the processing time. Workflows are improved, and smaller staffs can keep up with their total volume of work. Larger businesses can improve their overall efficiency by reducing errors through automation. AP automation software also enables you to track data at large volumes and analyze as needed.

All companies, no matter the size, can reap the benefits of automation software. Solutions based in the cloud provide:

  • E-invoicing
  • Automatic data entry and capture
  • Two- and three-way purchase orders
  • Receipt matching
  • Automated approval processes

Automating the AP Process is Not More Efficient 

The benefits of AP automation for processing time are undeniable. Companies can cut their processing time in half and simplify the overall accounts payable workflow. Start at the beginning by requesting e-invoices. This step eliminates paper, time spent scanning documents, and time spent manually inputting information.

From here, you can make the routing process simpler and more cut down the time needed for approval.

  • Supporting documents are stored
  • Invoice data is captured and digitized
  • Intelligently extract and verify GL codes, line item information, terms, and amounts
  • Match invoices automatically
  • Remove bottlenecks
  • Improve accuracy

All the benefits and features listed above result in less time and manpower spent on the AP process. Speeding up processes for invoice payment and approval through automation also helps eliminate errors. Payments are always made on time and collaboration is boosted through a cloud-based solution.  

We Can No Longer Control Our AP Process 

Automating the AP process provides more control. With automation, you have increased transparency. The process is smoother, teams are better connected, and there is increased accountability.

AP automation solutions take a messy, discombobulated process and transform it into a streamlined, efficient workflow. There is no need to keep up with long email chains. Instead, information is available in a centralized location that is easy to access.

Your team has full visibility into invoice status, enabling you to track any individual invoice. Route data to the proper approvers, approve items automatically, and customize your workflow to meet the needs of your business. At month-end, invoice errors are eliminated and there is no need to scramble over last-minute mistakes.

Automating the AP Process is Less Reliable 

Maintaining a paper accounts payable process allows significant room for human error. Paper invoices can easily be misfiled or lost altogether. There is a strain on your staff and their time as they manually complete paperwork, file it in the proper place, maintain organization, and attempt to keep track of documents. As your team is stretched thin, they are more likely to become overwhelmed. Processes are slower, including approvals, and payment deadlines are missed. These issues can quickly become costly, but they are also completely avoidable.

With an automated AP process, your overall organization improves. Invoice entry is less likely to have errors. Your team is not sidled with the task of scanning documents or matching purchase orders. And, your team has more time to focus on the exceptions to the rule.

Your business is also less susceptible to fraud by using a digital AP platform. Paper checks are extremely common in fraudulent attacks. An automated AP solution provides top-notch security, encryption, and safeguards to ensure your documents and company are safe. You can establish a secure chain of custody by tracking the history of an invoice and documented approvals. Also, your risk of audit is greatly reduced, and your business is always in compliance with accounting regulations or industry standards.

Reap the Benefits of AP Automation Now 

If you are ready to increase efficiency for your AP team, it is time to switch to an automated accounts payable process. Have more control over your processes while improving accuracy and reliability. Reduce the time spent processing invoices and save thousands with direct cost saving benefits.

The team at K-38 Consulting is well-versed in AP automation software. We can help you determine which solution is right for your business needs and make the implementation process as smooth as possible. With highly trained financial professionals on your side, you can effectively use AP automation software in no time.

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