Accounts Payable Workflow
Transform your AP workflow and reap the benefits for years to come.
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.
Many finance teams have embraced digital transformation and switched to more modern accounting and finance systems. However, these teams can often fail to take advantage of accounts payable workflow solutions. As a result, many Finance teams rely on manual tasks like performing AP transactions by hand. This could include keying in received payments, manually transferring data from one system to another, or receiving invoices via email.
"Any lack of efficiency can lead to missed opportunities to achieve business discounts or even penalties."
What is accounts payable workflow?
AP workflow solutions use software to mimic the tasks typically performed by humans and intertwine them with system-based functions. This method cuts down on both manual effort and the number of errors often found within a more traditional accounts payable process, including:
Manually processing accounts payable entries is time-consuming and prone to mistakes. Efficiency problems can lead to missed opportunities to achieve discounts and may even lead to penalties and disgruntled vendors. It's also possible for unauthorized purchases to get through without an internal review.
Vendor communication issues
Paying vendors late due to AP process issues leads to a loss of trust and loss of advantageous business terms. Vendors can be confused about how your process works, what you need from then, and what to expect for turnaround times.
Payment and authorization errors
If a supplier sends a second invoice for late payment, you can pay it twice accidentally, which leads to confusion, scrambling, and frustration. Worse, it impacts cash flow and, without good audit trails, legal action.
What are the benefits of accounts payable workflow systems?
Once you adapt to using accounts payable workflow software, the results can transform your company. Some of the positive impacts of AP automation solutions include:
Accounts payable workflow 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 all day with manual accounting tasks, they're free to turn their attention to more productive activities.
Quicker Turnaround Times
Slow cycle times can make cash outlays more unpredictable, impacting 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.
Listen to Varghese Paranilam from Baltimore City discuss the benefits they saw in switching to automated AP processing.
How can your team implement AP automation?
Accounts payable workflow 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 layout 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 workflow 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 workflow 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 working 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.
Tracking and Audit Trails
The best accounts payable workflow 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 have the ability 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 data flows from one system to another. In addition, your solution should have the flexibility to adapt to any future additions or changes to your current technology solutions.
Ideally, your systems would complement each other. For example, your accounts payable software could function as the system of record while your other applications act as databases for records.
Ready to improve AP workflow at your company?
If you're ready to streamline and modernize your AP department to improve efficiency, accuracy, and employee experience, we have your solution.
Learn more about our workflow solutions by setting up a demo of the Integrify platform.
Automate Your Accounts Payable Workflow
To see how quickly you can begin automating your AP processes, request a demonstration or trial of Integrify.