It’s not just suppliers who benefit from accounts payable (AP) automation software deployments, employees across the buying organisation – from the AP officer up to the CEO – are better able to succeed in their roles with software managing the invoice approval process.
How it works:
AP automation software manages the data capture, validation and invoice approval process following the company’s business rules and logic. The software then sends the payables data to the company’s ERP or finance system for payment. With human touchpoints minimised, the potential for errors and delays in the accounts payable process is dramatically reduced.
Here are some key benefits by role, with many common goals shared between executives:
Automating AP helps CEOs
- Increase profitability – a deployment reduces the cost of invoice processing from go live, generating a strong return on investment in typically 12-18 months.
- Create long-term value – a cloud-based automation solution is highly flexible and configurable to work alongside other software systems and scale with the business for long-term utility.
- Avoid reputational damage – payments are made on time, every time, helping to present the company as a strong corporate citizen.
Automating AP helps CFOs
- Improve cash flow management – visibility of upcoming invoices, ability to time payments to access early-bird discounts or utilise the full payment term.
- Reduce operating costs – reduce the cost per transaction and ensure the AP process is highly efficient and reliable.
- Better utilise team members – AP finance professionals can take on higher value work than data entry and invoice administration.
- Gain data insights – access AP data for informed decision-making and accurate, timely financial reporting; ability to measure, benchmark and improve AP performance.
- Avoid compliance breaches – all payables and their complete audit history are captured in the system ensuring accurate records.
Automating AP helps Chief Procurement Officers
- Build stronger relationships with suppliers – ability to negotiate more competitive terms and rates for the company with a consistent track record of on-time payment.
- Improve supplier management – ability to better monitor supplier performance and adherence to service level agreements.
Automating AP helps Chief Compliance Officers
- Maintain compliant records – all invoices are stored electronically and are searchable, indexed and easily retrieved; every touchpoint in the process is logged, providing a complete audit history.
- Strengthen accountability – business rules enforce compliance checks and ensure the correct approval process and financial delegations of authority are adhered to.
- Reduce the risk of fraud – with less employee involvement in invoice processing and embedded compliance checks, the likelihood of invoice fraud is significantly reduced.
Automating AP helps AP department managers
- Reduce invoice process cycle times – invoices are processed the day they are received; invoice exceptions are identified early and auto-resolved, where possible.
- Monitor current liabilities – advise on the company’s cash position and time payments to help manage and optimise working capital.
- Add value in other areas – by eliminating time-consuming manual processes, team members have increased capacity to take on other, higher-value work.
Automating AP helps AP officers
- Re-engineer AP processes – to streamline operations, remove bottlenecks, lower exceptions, and reduce manual interventions.
- Modernise and digitalise – enjoy the efficiency and environmental benefits of a paperless office, learn new skills, and work in a high-performance team.
- Develop in their careers – stop being held back by time-consuming manual processes, ability to take on higher value and more rewarding work.
Automating AP helps business managers
- Know their invoice approval tasks – have all their invoice-related responsibilities together in one place; be able to access the software system from any web-based browser.
- Keep on top of their tasks – notifications and reminders prompt users to complete their tasks on time, so invoices keep moving through the workflow.
Deploying an AP automation solution benefits the buying organisation and its staff, as well as the supply chain. Automation software may help executive leaders meet their strategic goals and key performance indicators, whereas failing to address manual processes may hold staff back from fully achieving in their roles.