How AP Automation Could Benefit Your Business

Does your business experience inefficiency in manual processes, invoice-to-payment mismatching, missing invoices, duplicate payment, inconsistent organizational AP process, and other AP challenges? This might be a great time for you to consider accounts payable (AP) automation.

AP automation is a business-empowering process that eliminates manual tasks, streamlines processes, reduces costs, and frees up cash flow. It frees a company from the traditional AP limitations. With AP automation, your business will become more efficient, profitable, and competitive.

Haven’t made up your mind yet? Read on and explore how AP automation could benefit your business.

1. Lower Costs, More Savings

Your business can benefit from cheaper invoice and labor costs when you automate your AP processes. AP automation saves time, which converts into cash.

Reduced Invoice Costs

Manual AP processes involve office supplies and postage charges for interoffice mail. A single invoice for businesses with a low volume (less than 20,000) takes about $16 to manually process, but only about $13 with automation. It would be about $6 (manual) and about $4 (automated) for businesses with moderate volume (20,000-100,000), while it is only about $4 (manual) and $3 (automated) for businesses with high invoice volume (more than 100,000).

When your business processes 100 invoices monthly, you’ll save $300 a month and $3,600 a year. If you process more invoices, you’ll have a better cash flow.

Discounts on Early Payments

You don’t want to miss discounts that suppliers offer for early payments, right? The Aberdeen Group reported that AP management leaders want to capture early payment discounts. AP automation provides 49% of invoice processing cost savings. You can pass these savings to your customers or reinvest in other value-added strategies in your business.

Time Savings

Simplify your invoice approval process and avoid invoices waiting at a desk or in an email inbox. AP automation removes time-consuming and fallible manual tasks. Your business can save a significant amount of time when invoices are scanned with character recognition software and are completely matched without human intervention. You can also route payables to specific business processes.

2. Less Errors, Greater Accuracy and Productivity

Improved Accuracy

Has your business encountered these AP difficulties?

  • Errors in manually keying in invoices
  • Duplicate or overpayment
  • Tedious approver review of invoices

AP automation helps you avoid these by eliminating human error, removing same-level oversight, automatically highlighting exceptions for review, and validating against enterprise resource planning (ERP) information for duplicate payments. Thus, you have more efficient and accurate reporting, budgeting, and auditing.

Personnel Productivity

AP automation eases your team from tedious manual AP processes and gives them more time to concentrate on other revenue-generating tasks in your business. It boosts their productivity and morale and benefits your business.

3. Efficient Access, Control, and Fraud Prevention

Payment Cycle Access

AP automation provides full access to your payment cycle and invoices. Your accountants and CFOs will never have to guess the whereabouts of every cent of your budget. You can always be apprised of your business obligations, avoid overdue fees, and improve your relationship with suppliers.

Data Control, Reporting, and Analysis

Automatically import and export your pertinent data and share them with all levels of your business for real-time collaboration. Flagged payments are automatically rerouted to the appropriate personnel for approval review. Automated accounts payable is advantageous for reporting and analysis at every end of your business cycle.

Fraud Prevention

With AP automation, you can assign and give access to personnel for invoice approval or payment release. Establishing approval workflow and process management systems can reduce fraud and easily expose them. You can also straightforwardly track missing or incorrect data. Besides, an electronic trail is easier to track than a paper trail.

4. Data Preservation and Compliance

Businesses are required to save records for up to seven years. An automated AP system helps store your files securely and in compliance with business regulatory requirements. Your data is safe, backed up, and free from fire, flood, theft, and other natural and man-made calamities. It even frees up space in your office!

5. Finance System Integration

AP automation integrates with other financial systems, databases, and ERP systems. With Robotic Process Automation (RPA) on an automated AP system, personnel can access invoice data from any device, anytime, anywhere. You and your personnel don’t have to switch applications or input data in several systems, resulting in faster implementation and lower costs and improving your AP and business efficiency.

6. Customized for Business Needs

Your business is unique, and AP automation is powerful enough that you can customize it to your specific business needs. You can design an AP workflow that suits your business, routes invoices to authorized personnel, creates timers for approval, and sets up alerts.

Have an Edge with AP Automation

Turn your back on manual AP processes. Keep up with technology’s leap and obtain an edge in the competitive market by investing in technology that would help automate your business.

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