How To Get Started with New AP Automation
Once your company has decided it’s time to automate the AP department, you need a plan for where to start. Shoehorning an AP automation system into your existing process isn’t going to give you the best outcome. With a little planning, you’ll be able to get the most out of your new AP automation system from the very beginning.
Create A Management Initiative
You can’t reach a goal unless you figure out what that goal is going to be. For automation to work best, you need a clear vision of your automation goals. Click here to read “5 Questions To Ask Before You Automate AP.”
When crafting this initiative, take into account not only what you want to do but also how you’re going to do it. The goal should include a plan for managing resources related to the project and staying committed to pursuing a positive outcome.
Review Existing Processes
There’s a good chance the current workflow in your AP department isn’t particularly efficient. Before changing the process, you need to know what works and what doesn’t in the routing and approval system you have now.
Create process flow maps and look at key metrics like approval times and error rates, but don’t just focus on the AP process. Also take into account the people working with your current system. The employees who work in AP every day will have feedback on what could be improved and may provide key insight an outsider could overlook.
Document Internal Controls
Updating the AP process gives you a good excuse to look into internal controls and regulatory compliance. Make sure your company is up-to-date with government guidelines and that your internal controls are equipped to catch fraud and prevent invoice errors.
Simplifying the AP process and updating regulations gives you increased control over finances. Segregation of duties, approval authority, financial reporting – those are just a few of in internal controls and regulations you can strengthen using AP automation.
Several resources will recommend you automate the AP department in stages. You might see recommendations that you start by automating payments because automating invoices involves figuring out a way to digitize incoming invoices. They’ll also say you need time to figure out how to integrate existing ERPs into the new automation process.
However, if you use NextProcess AP Software, there’s no reason not to automate all at once. We designed our system to seamlessly integrate with most existing ERPs. It’s also equipped to handle invoices arriving in any format. If the invoices are already in a digital format, that’s great. If they’re not, then you simply scan them in and our system captures the information with over 99% accuracy. We make automation as simple as it is useful. To see how AP automation would work in your company, just contact us to set up a free demonstration.