3 Key Benefits to Automating Accounts Payable

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Accounts Payable Automation|3 Key Benefits to Automating Accounts PayableThe accounting department is one of the most important in a business. It’s therefore vital that it runs smoothly and that errors are kept to a minimum. Usually tasked with reducing costs and improving business performance, a key tool in delivering these objectives is accounts payable automation software. Some of the key benefits are outlined below.

Eliminate Manual Data Entry and Reduce Errors

Accounts payable can use a lot of business resource because it is traditionally a very manual process. Usually it requires someone transferring or inputting invoice information from one system to another be it from an email or a paper invoice. This kind of manual data entry often leads to errors, especially when dealing with large amounts of data.

In accounts payable in particular it’s especially important that mistakes aren’t made as they can have a huge impact on business. An additional zero or a decimal in the wrong place can disrupt other departments and in smaller businesses can lead to cash flow problems.

Implementing accounts payable automation software will help to reduce common errors and will free-up employees to work on higher priority deliverables. One key feature of good accounts payable software is AI driven invoice capture. This will automate the capture of data within invoices that are received via mail, email or fax and input it into the system. Manual data entry and errors are therefore almost completely eliminated.

Streamline Business Processes

All businesses will have an accounts payable process in place to ensure that invoices are paid on time and that the correct approvals are sought. However, usually employees rely on each other to know their part in the process. This becomes a problem if someone leaves the business as it can cause a breakdown in communication, key parts of the process to be missed and payments being delayed.

One way to overcome this is by setting up workflows and processes within automated accounts payable software. Having a visual representation of the procedure and a digital sign off process means that everyone is kept in the loop. It also means that invoices are logged and processed on time and efficiently.

If your business gets discounts for early payment of invoices this can be especially valuable.

Take Advantage of Holistic Reporting

Being able to generate and access reports that give an indication of the health of your business is vital. Typically accounts payable might be using spreadsheets or other software that isn’t linked to other systems in the business. This can lead to data quickly becoming out of date as it’s captured at a single point in time.

Connecting automated accounts payable software to existing systems will give you a holistic view of your business. Real-time dashboards and reports, as opposed to snapshots of data, will ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and that decisions are made based on the most up to date data.

Having this insight will help across the business and deliver on key objectives including:

  • Increasing responsiveness to customers
  • Being pro-active about any emerging cash flow problems
  • Providing a better service based on data-driven insights

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