Invoice processing is an unavoidable part of doing business. Managing the accounts payable (AP) process can be time-consuming, resource-intensive, and costly. Manual data entry and convoluted approval workflows can create opportunities for errors to creep in and costs to spiral out of control.
Accounts payable automation solutions help you overcome these challenges. It streamlines processes, saves time and money, and improves accuracy. AP automation makes invoice mistakes a thing of the past. The best AP automation solutions create efficiencies that let you free up staff members to focus on more valuable activities.
If you haven’t already investigated an AP automation solution, you may be surprised to discover the real, tangible benefits it can provide.
Five reasons your business needs to automate accounts payable:
1. Cost savings
When your accounts payable process is manual and cumbersome, the risk of paying invoices late rises significantly. This often results in late payment penalties and means your business misses out on taking advantage of early payment discounts.
By streamlining your approval workflows to speed up the process and automate invoice processing, you can take advantage of early payment discounts. This can lead to significant cost savings over time.
2. Time savings
Whether you receive invoices physically or electronically, typically they still require sign off and are shuffled from desk to desk, or inbox to inbox, as they go through the approval workflow. This creates bottlenecks and extra work as staff try to keep track of where the invoices are in the workflow. Furthermore, often staff are manually typing in the invoice details into the organisation’s finance or enterprise resource planning (ERP). This manual data entry takes time and can delay payment.
If an invoice goes missing, which is a common challenge, then further time is wasted looking for it. When invoices are managed automatically via a digital AP automation solution, you remove the risk of them being lost and manual data entry is no longer required as it happens automatically. This frees up time for administrative staff to focus on more valuable activities.
Paper-based invoices and manual processes open up significant opportunities for errors. Whether it’s a typo when entering the details into the finance system or losing an invoice altogether, these errors can create significant problems. They can cost money as you pay the wrong invoice amount or pay the same invoice twice. And they can result in missed payments if the invoice is lost.
When invoices aren’t managed accurately, your business can’t find cost savings and manage cash flow effectively. Automation helps to removes this issue.
4. Better supplier relationships
Paying invoices on time, in full, every time helps you create stronger supplier relationships. It puts you in a better position to negotiate discounts or more favourable payment terms. When suppliers don’t have to chase you for payment, they’re more inclined to work with you if, on the odd occasion, you find yourself unable to pay an invoice on time.
5. Easier access to data
When you have full, accurate, detailed records of invoices and payments, you can analyse that data to find more opportunities to save money, create opportunities, and make better decisions.
These are just five of the reasons you should consider automating your accounts payable processes. Your business could reap significant benefits that can free up resources for you to grow and become more profitable, and work smarter.
If you’re ready to explore how automation can help improve your accounts payable processes, contact Upstream today.