Accounts Payable Automation Software Solutions
Manual accounts payable processes drain any business, but there's a better way.
A manual accounts payable process comes with a lot of challenges. Any errors in tracking money owed to suppliers or items purchased on credit can throw off your entire accounts payable system and lead to multiple problems for your business. Even though many finance teams have shifted to more modern accounting systems, they often fail to take advantage of accounts payable automation solutions. As a result, many departments still perform certain transactions by hand, like keying in received payments.
What is Accounts Payable Automation?
AP automation solutions use software to mimic the tasks typically performed by humans. That way, there’s less need for manual intervention. That cuts down on the number of errors often found within the accounts payable process. Some of the most common issues that crop up with manual payments include:
- Inefficient processing — Manually processing accounts payable entries often becomes time-consuming. Any lack of efficiency can lead to missed opportunities to achieve business discounts or even penalties. It’s also possible for unauthorized purchases to get through without an internal review.
- Vendor issues — Failing to pay vendors on time because of accounts payable problems can lead to a loss of trust and less friendly business terms. You may also spend a lot of time following up with vendors because of issues, leading to further deterioration of your relationship.
- Payment errors — If a supplier sends a second invoice for late payment, it’s possible for you to pay it twice accidentally. That can become even more of a problem if you have multiple locations operating. That can lead to confusion on who’s responsible for payment. That impacts your cash flow and could lead to you not recovering the money if you cannot track the duplicate payment accurately.
What are the Benefits of Accounts Payable Automation Software?
The results can be transformative for your company once you adapt to using accounts payable automation software. Some of the positive impacts of AP automation solutions include:
Accounts payable automation software reduces the amount of manual work your employees perform. There’s less need for them to scan documents, manually key data, look up lost invoices, or try to reconcile supplier information. All that translates to more significant cost savings for organizations.
Once your employees aren’t tied up with manual accounting tasks all day, they’re free to turn their attention to more productive activities.
Quicker Cycle Times
Slow cycle times can make cash outlays more unpredictable, impacting your business relationships. In addition, you can end up with an invoice backlog. AP automation helps you process invoices more quickly by eliminating the time it takes to capture data and perform validation.
How Is AP Automation Implemented?
Accounts payable automation software eliminates the need for manual processes through rule-based decision-making. Instead, all that workload gets offloaded to your software solution. The easiest way to get started with a new AP automation solution is by using workflow software like Integrify to lay out each process from end to end. Once you view your optimal accounts payable flow, it is easier to see where you can add automation to the process.
Setting up accounts payable automation typically relies on the following components.
Your form designer is the entry point for your accounts payable process. Instead of sending out paper forms, vendors can use the form to complete and submit invoices for payment. That eliminates the need for any manual input by your workers. In addition, you can create customizable forms based on factors like the individual vendor, the type of invoice they’re submitting, and the vendor’s location.
Ideally, the form designer allows for rapid customization of layouts, including letting you add dynamic elements. In addition, you want the ability to deploy forms quickly across different browsers and screens, including mobile devices.
The next step in creating accounts payable automation involves having tools that logically set up tasks for humans and automation. It helps to have drag-and-drop tools that let you fit tasks together as you see fit. In addition, you need the ability to adapt your functions to the process requirements and create intuitive business rules.
Having a user-friendly front end as your vendor portal adds visibility to the accounts payable process for the vendor and those in your finance department. For example, you can give vendors the ability to track the progress of an invoice while providing them with critical status updates. In addition, your finance department can view all the details of submitted invoices. Managers can track information like how long it took to process invoices and the number completed.
The best accounts payable automation solutions provide audit trails that log and track any actions performed on finance information. That gives organizations complete insight into every operation through their accounts payable system. In addition, you should be able to pull up the entire financial history of any transaction to fulfill any audit requirements.
Your AP automation solution should integrate with your other business software, like your CRM, ERP, or reporting platform. You want the ability to monitor the way transactions flow from one system to another. In addition, your solution should be flexible to adapt to any future additions or changes to your current technology solutions.
Ideally, each system would complement one another. For example, your accounts payable software could function as the system of record while your other applications act as databases for records.
Make Accounts Payable Automation Easier
Integrify allows you to create workflows for your accounts payable processes quickly. That way, you can quickly implement automation processes that streamline the amount of work performed by your finance department. Learn more about our workflow solutions by setting up a demo of the Integrify platform.
Automate Any Accounts Payable Process
To see how quickly you can begin automating your AP processes, request a demonstration or trial of Integrify.