Why accounts payable automation is for SMBs too

Small businesses need to manage cash flow carefully. Unfortunately, many are losing money every month due to inefficient invoice processing and manual accounts payable processes. Accounts payable automation software can provide the solution.

Losses can add up due to errors that creep in during manual data entry, while misplaced invoices or lengthy approval workflows can mean invoices are sometimes paid late or not at all. This can damage supplier relationships and make it impossible to leverage early payment discounts. In fact, you could end up paying late payment fees, adding to your costs.

Then, there’s the time it takes to manually manage invoices and approvals. Your staff could be wasting hours of every day chasing down invoices, matching up purchase orders with invoices, getting managers to sign off on payments, and filing the invoices.

When you add up that wasted time along with the actual costs of late or double payments, you can see just how much money your small business could be losing.

The benefits of accounts payable automation

Accounts payable (AP) automation can help you streamline your processes and avoid these losses. The best AP automation solution will deliver:

  • improved speed, visibility, accuracy, and control over accounts payable processes
  • automated key field data extraction removing manual data entry
  • automated invoices and purchase orders matching, saving time
  • automated approval workflows that move the invoice through the required approval stages
  • integration with existing finance systems so no system changes are necessary
  • insights into payment patterns and exceptions for better decision making.

For many SMB owners, the prospect of investing in an AP automation solution can be daunting. Concerns around how much a solution might cost or the knowledge required to manage it can mean many SMB owners don’t even consider undertaking an AP automation software comparison.

However, it might surprise you to learn that not only are accounts payable solutions affordable even for small businesses, but it takes very little in-house expertise to leverage AP automation software to secure big savings for your business.

Here are some of the ways an AP automation solution can save your organisation money:

  • you can leverage early-payment discounts to save money on your invoices
  • you can use payment patterns and reports to identify the most cost-effective suppliers and negotiate better deals for cost savings over the long term
  • your staff members can focus on value-adding activities rather than manual data entry and chasing down paper-based invoices
  • you can save space in your office by storing invoices electronically, making them easily searchable, instead of in filing cabinets
  • you can avoid errors that creep in with manual processes, reducing the risk of double payments and late payments
  • you can track invoices at any time, seeing instantly which ones are paid and which ones are outstanding.

AP automation solutions from Upstream can save your business money, help you manage supplier relationships more effectively, and maintain tighter control over cash flow. To find out how, contact us today.