4 Ways Self-Service Accounts Payable Can Help Your Small Business
When you run a small to medium business (SMB), your accounts payable can quickly turn into a nightmare. Not only do you have to oversee regular overhead costs, like paying the rent and
utilities, but you also have to handle purchase orders (POs) and the invoices related to those. You might even be managing larger capital purchases, like new equipment or a remodeling, through AP, especially if you’re a smaller business.
Instead of trying to do it all yourself or outsourcing your accounts payable to a third party, you can try a sort of hybrid option that lets you stay in control while still taking a lot of the work off your hands. A self-service accounts payable solution like the one we offer here at NextProcess lets you manage your AP directly while also “outsourcing” a lot of the paperwork to an automated software program.
Saying AP automation “helps” your business is true, but it doesn’t really tell you anything specific enough to base a decision on about whether or not you want to automate. To give you a better idea of what self-service accounts payable software can do, here are four ways it can help your small business.
1. Vendor Service
When it feels like your vendors are chipping away at your profit margins and everyone wants a piece of the pie, an easy-to-use self-service accounts payable solution can be a lifesaver. Implementing a solution like this makes everything related to AP easier for everyone involved.
Vendors no longer need to contact accounts payable every time they require PO numbers or need to update their information. They just log-in to your new AP system’s vendor portal. When vendors use a self-service solution, things like payment dates are set automatically and prominently. It makes it easy for vendors to post terms and offer discounts for early payment. Also, your vendors can track payment as it moves through your system.
2. Vendor Management
A self-service accounts payable solution makes it easy for your business to manage vendors. They’ll do a lot of the work themselves, and the parts of vendor management that are still your responsibility are a lot easier to handle with the help of AP automation.
On your side of accounts payable, the system provides you with a record of receipt and payment details. It also processes all your invoices faster than you could if you were trying to handle AP manually.
The record-keeping side of our business processing software lets you know at a glance how much you spend on each vendor, and it updates in real-time so you always know exactly where your money is going at any given time. Also, because the system improves communication between you and vendors and you’re not falling behind on any payments, you have the opportunity to negotiate better terms.
3. Processing Automation
One of the biggest strengths of a good self-service accounts payable solution is that it’s automated. When you use a system like this for your SMB, standard features include general ledger coding, duplicate checking, and the ability to route individual vendor POs to certain people. These timesaving features free up time that you used to spend on routine paperwork tasks. Now, you can spend more time doing things that will grow your business.
AP automation software eliminates repetitive tasks and helps make sure that all of your entries are correct. User errors like transposing numbers, forgetting to enter a bill, or miscoding an entry are a thing of the past. The system also keeps track of payment due dates automatically. You’ll never make a late payment or miss out on early-pay discounts again.
Implementing an automated accounts payable solution also improves accountability. It is easy to see invoice histories at a glance and resolve invoice issues. Our system can auto-process up to 90% of your invoices, and it’ll bring any exceptions invoices to your attention immediately. At the same time, the system identifies “pain points” when cash flow could be tight and notifies your staff. Now, you have the warning needed to address these sorts of issues before they become a problem.
If you are like most companies, you have limits on how large of a purchase certain people can sign off on. Our software system automatically enforces your company’s policies. And if you want to automate purchasing as well as AP, our Purchase Order Module integrates seamlessly with AP automation for an even better user experience.
On top of that, different POs have different required turnaround times. One vendor wants immediate payment; another gives Net 30. Some need nothing more than a PO number, while others need full payment account information even for delayed billing. Our system keeps track of all that for you, making sure your business is paying vendors on time and staying accountable to good business practices.
Ready to automate? NextProcess can help
At NextProcess, we know accounts payable can get confusing and can take away from managing the money-making side of your business. Whether you’re processing a handful of invoices a month or using your AP system several times a day, self-service accounts payable solutions streamline the AP process. Plus, we only charge for what you use so you’re never overpaying for functionality you don’t need. Contact us today to learn how the NextProcess’s AP Automation Software can work for your SMB.