Harnessing Automation Power to Enhance Accounts Payable Performance

Many companies struggle with manual or decentralized accounts payable (AP) processes, and are under increasing pressure to automate. It is well known that automating accounts payable processes delivers significant cost, efficiency, and accuracy gains, and in turn improved cash flow, reduced Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), and more effective fraud prevention. For a Finance Executive looking for a software solution, harnessing the power of a robust accounts payable automation platform can result in improved operational performance.

To accomplish operational excellence, it is essential for organizations to find an accounts payable automation system that integrates with a host of accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and can grow with their business in terms of scalability and security. Once the parameters have been set up, the accounts payable automation system should allow companies to route invoices and payments through multiple departments or locations automatically, eliminating the need to manually approve each transaction and ensuring compliance with corporate policies.

The right software solution should also optimize payment processes to facilitate discount capture, reduce manual payment preparation steps, and simplify audit and reconciliation activities. Automating the accounts payable flow and minimizing manual touchpoints through integrated vendor or bank portals, or through automated data entry, can offer further opportunities for organizations to streamline operations.

In addition, the automation system should provide visibility over the status of all invoices, confirmations, rejections, and payments, allowing companies to better track and quantify their business performance. Furthermore, utilizing a secure electronic signature feature will enable both accounts payable and accounting staff to execute contracts, invoices, and authorizations in an expedient and legally sound manner. With third-party integrations, companies can take advantage of an assurance of authorization, authentication, and record compliance policies to minimize the risks associated with payments.

Organizations have the opportunity to further expand their efficiency, accuracy and ROI wins with an advanced accounts payable automation platform. Utilizing optical character recognition (OCR) technologies, companies can scan and capture envelopes, invoices, contracts, check stubs, and other documents and convert it into digital, indexed, retrievable information. OCR is designed to interpret handwriting, so intelligent data capture automatically identifies data, validates it, maps it to appropriate fields, and populates it into the system. This means organizations can enjoy a reduction of invoice-related time and cost because manual data entry, slowed down by a wide variety of invoice formats from different locations, can be avoided.

For effective and profitable decision making, organizations should deploy an accounts payable automation platform that offers advanced analytics to give finance professionals an accurate, holistic view into their company’s performance. With real-time decision-making capabilities, the right software solution should provide in-depth analyses of accounts payable KPIs such as spend, cash flow, KPIs, and information on best practices of peer organizations.

In summary, employing the right accounts payable automation solution can revolutionize organizations’ operations and provide business performance insight. The best accounts payable automation system should enable organisations to automate processes, reduce manual labor, improve payment and audit accuracy and security, and improve business performance visibility.