No more excuses! Seven key reasons to automate AP

Published Wednesday, October 7, 2015 1:56 PM by Wearev1, Author

Do you always find excuses for why you haven’t yet automated accounts payable (AP)? Perhaps you are so busy running the department that you haven’t had the time to investigate how to automate AP. Perhaps you and your team are happy with keeping things ‘just so’ as you fear the implications of change, or maybe you just prefer handling and processing pieces of paper!

Whatever your reasons, it is important to recognise why so many organisations are now choosing to go down the automation route by implementing document management and invoice processing technologies. Here, I highlight seven key reasons why you should consider automating AP.

Firstly, an automated approach will eliminate time-consuming manual processeswhich do little to add value, such as photocopying, filing and posting paper invoices. Manually entering invoice data into your finance system also takes up huge amounts of time, which could be far better utilised.

Secondly, each AP clerk can only do so much, even if they worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Despite their very best intentions, they will also make mistakes. By moving to an automated process, productivity will considerably increase and human errors will be eliminated.

A more streamlined AP process will inevitably accelerate invoice approvals, cutting late payment penalties.

Similarly, faster invoice approvals will provide the AP team with greater control over when they pay suppliers. You may even choose to negotiate early payment discounts.

Also, paper can be misplaced, shredded and accidentally binned alongside junk mail! Electronic documents can never get lost or damaged and can be quickly and easily retrieved from your PC.

Gain full visibility of your cash flow by automating AP. This can also lead to better cash management.

Finally, the audit trail created from electronically processing documents supports compliance whilst helping to protect your company from unscrupulous behaviour.

It’s time to bin the excuses and to embrace change! By investing in automation, the benefits will by far outweigh your reservations and will be transformational, turning your AP department into an invaluable strategic asset.