What Is Account Payable (AP) Automation and Why Do You Need It in 2020?
As everything in this world gets bigger and faster, it’s important for your company to keep up. You don’t want to get left behind as competitors modernize their businesses and prepare for the future.
One of the most effective ways to modernize your company is by switching to Accounts Payable Automation. AP automation will increase your efficiency, speed up processing, decrease human error, and save you money. There’s no down-side, so long as you go with a reliable automation provider and plan ahead to ensure successful automation.
For today’s article, let’s take a look at what accounts payable automation does and why you need it. We’ll also give you tips for successfully implementing AP automation. Let’s get started.
What It Does
The typical accounts payable department processes a huge number of documents each month. In a department that’s manual, paper-based, and/or only partly automated invoice processing is a time-consuming task. AP automation accelerates document processing and cuts out a lot of repetitive human tasks like data entry and verification.
Accounts payable automation starts when incoming invoices are scanned into the computer system. Next, a program extracts data and links that data to other relevant financial documents (most notably purchase orders and vendor records). When the extracted data perfectly matches an on-file purchase order, payments can be made automatically. This negates the need for AP employees to search, compare, verify, and pay each invoice manually. They’ll only need to process expectations invoices.
If you’d like to learn more about this process, check out our article “What Does Workflow Automation Actually Look Like In The Accounts Payable Department?”
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of accounting automation is that it speeds up the accounts payable process. Speeding up the AP cycle is not only convenient, but it will also help you avoid unnecessary late payment fees and penalties. It even allows you to cash in on the many early payment discounts available! Automation is a great way to save both time and money in your accounts payable department.
The benefits don’t stop with faster processing and saving money. Automation also cuts out a lot of human error. Computers aren’t perfect, but they don’t make as many mistakes while doing repetitive tasks like data entry. They also don’t wear out due to fatigue by the end of the day, week, or month.
Automation doesn’t mean there’s no need for human employees, though. It just makes their jobs easier. Automating frees up your AP staff from mundane, repetitive projects, and allows them to work on more important and productive tasks. By converting to accounts payable automation, you will have better control over your system and make information more unified, easier to track, and safely stored for audits.
Getting Started With Automation
There is no need to wait when it comes to automating your AP system. The conversion will benefit you, your suppliers, your clients, your customers, and even the environment since you’ll be cutting back on paper use.
Implementing accounts payable automation will go much more smoothly if you have a plan in place before you start. Clarify your company’s goals for automation. Make sure all the decision-makers involved are on-board with automating. Decide how employees will use the time they save now that so much of the AP process is automated.
For more information, click to read “Here’s How To Get Accounts Payable Automation Right The First Time.”
Addressing these questions helps you map out goals for AP automation and make a plan for achieving those goals. Having a plan makes it far more likely that you’ll stay on track to achieving your automation goals. With a plan in place, it’s now time to find a reliable software solution to use.
NextProcess Can Help
Cloud-based software-as-a-service companies like NextProcess make it easy to implement accounts payable automation without putting any burden on your IT department. We’ll handle software setup for you and work closely with your company to ensure a successful implementation.
With NextProcess, you get a full-featured accounts payable automation system that’s highly flexible. Our system will fit most company’s needs, and you can customize it however you prefer. Plus, we also offer a suite of compatible software programs to make it easy for you to automate purchasing, capital project management, expense reporting, and more in addition to accounts payable.