Unlocking Efficiency: The Advantages of Automating Accounts Payable


October 09, 2023


Key insights

Automating accounts payable can save time, reduce compliance and fraud risks, and increase efficiency for organizations of all sizes.

Electronic invoicing and payments can reduce manual processes, increasing accuracy and reducing errors.

Real-time visibility into financial data helps identify areas where costs can be reduced or additional investment is needed.

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Whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, automating your accounts payable (AP) process can help save time, reduce errors, and increase efficiency. Review some of the benefits that can lead to increased revenue and better decision-making.

Reduce manual processes

Manually entering invoice information from PDFs into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is time consuming — and can cause errors. Using automation such as a form recognizer can pull data directly from PDFs, saving a lot of time. Some systems include customization options, including a rules engine and approval portal to sign off on and adjust the pulled data if necessary.

Another option worth exploring is electronic invoicing. Switching to electronic invoicing can not only reduce the time spent on data entry, but it can also increase accuracy and reduce errors. Automating AP can also enable electronic payments, which are faster, more secure, and less expensive than traditional paper checks.

Better manage cash flow

Automated systems provide detailed data and reports to help you forecast cash flow more accurately, allowing you to make better-informed decisions about spending and investments. They can also help eliminate human errors, such as double payments or incorrect invoice amounts, which can lead to unnecessary expenses.

Faster processing means invoices are more likely to be paid on time, reducing the risk of late fees and interest charges and improving relationships with your suppliers.

Improve visibility into financial data

Real-time visibility into your AP process allows you to track the status of invoices and payments and identify bottlenecks or delays that could impact cash flow. This can help identify areas where costs can be reduced — or where additional investment may be needed. Automated systems can also consolidate data from multiple sources, providing a comprehensive view of financial data from across the organization and giving you information you need to make informed decisions.

Verify compliance and reduce fraud risk

Automating your AP process can help reduce compliance and fraud risks by providing accurate data, automated controls, increased visibility, compliance reporting, and enhanced data security. Automated systems can provide a clear audit trail — making it easier to track transactions and identify irregularities — and can be configured to include controls that help to prevent fraudulent activity, such as segregation of duties and dual approvals.

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