Accelerating Operational Performance with Accounts Payable Automation

The use of software to automate accounts payable processes can be invaluable to business operations. As the purchasing process is often complex, tedious and riddled with potential errors, automation can substantially reduce the amount of time, resources and energy expended to complete the task. Investment in the right purchase-to-pay solution can bring many benefits to an enterprise’s finance department, from cost-savings to increased efficiency, quicker turnaround time and increased visibility.

C-suite executives should carefully consider the variety of factors related to any purchase-to-pay solution, in order to arrive at a tailored and comprehensive solution that meets their organization’s needs. If a software is to be leveraged for accounts payable automation, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It is important to conduct an audit of current processes, in order to identify potential areas of improvement, which can subsequently be addressed with the right software.

In particular, executives should look at the following aspects of their accounts payable process: payment practices, internal collaboration, document management, supplier management and compliance management. Out of these five elements, payment practices are probably the most important, as they can have the most dramatic impact on the cost and timeline of an enterprise’s operations. With an automated purchase-to-pay solution, finance teams can manage payments digitally and execute them according to their cash flow targets. This could mean, for instance, optimizing payment terms and routes to capitalize on discounts. Additionally, automated payment solutions often support various payment form factors, enabling the organization to offer the flexibility desired by its vendors.

An automated solution could also streamline and expedite collaboration between accounts payable teams and other departments within the enterprise. Document management is a key component of accounts payable, and an automated solution can provide users with ready access to vital documents and reports. This could be very useful in keeping track of orders and understanding spending trends.

Additionally, a unified, automated platform for accounts payable can help streamline supplier management processes. Automated supplier onboarding and monitoring capabilities can improve the accuracy of payment processes and reduce the reliance on paper documents. As enterprises engage more suppliers, an automated purchase-to-pay system can assist in better oversight of vendors and compliance with industry regulations.

In conclusion, proper utilization of automated accounts payable solutions can offer considerable benefits to an enterprise, with cost-savings, time-savings, and improved internal collaboration, document management, supplier management and compliance management. Careful consideration of the right solution to support accounts payable processes can bring substantial efficiency improvements and cost-savings.