Imagine a world where payments are simple. You make a deal with a vendor. You agree on a price. You pay it then move on to the next transaction, the process is smooth, streamlined, and efficient. Now, think about your actual payment system, while the end result may be the same, does it take longer to get there? There are checks to be made, approvals to be granted, and an endless stream of questions and enquiries to answer.

For most Accounts Payable Departments, there is one question that keeps repeating it’s self – where is my payment? This is something that vendors want to be updated on, even if they know that a payment has been approved and is pending.

The answer is usually a simple one, but the time spent on emails and telephone calls to impatient vendors can still end up costing your company money. To avoid this, you need an Accounts payable solution that is transparent, immediate, and autonomous. In other words, you need a payment channel that tracks the progress of supplier to vendor transactions. If this data is captured, it can be used to automatically update vendors, so that you don’t have to do it directly. Your AP department can then spend the time focusing on more pressing matters.

Are Vendor Portals Right for Your Company?

The good news is that you can take advantage of such a system; it is called a vendor portal. It is a cloud based setup, which enables vendors to ‘log in’ and instantly access information about the progress of payments and invoices.

The process is much faster than an update from a company representative and it means that your AP department doesn’t have to be fielding questions from vendors. Also, with high quality accounts payable automation tools, neither you nor your suppliers have to worry about security.

The typical vendor portal (also known as a supplier portal) is a valuable asset, because it automates the invoice submission process. This increases efficiency and accuracy, as well as strengthening ties with suppliers. All vendors appreciate being kept in the loop when it comes to the status of payments, without compromising the productivity of your own AP department.

What Are the Main Benefits of Vendor Portals?

Electronic Invoicing: Vendor portals are, in many ways, the buffet table of AP automation. Just as a really hungry diner appreciates not having to wait to be served, vendors love being able to access information on payments immediately. With a vendor portal, they can download, forward, and print submitted invoices without having to go through your department.

Stronger Relationships: You can’t run a company without a skilled team, but that doesn’t mean that human beings are the best tool for every job. Accounts payable automation eliminates the risk of human error and clerical mistakes, resulting in better business relations.

No More Payment Delays: Transactions will progress much faster if they’re not being held up, at various stages. With AP automation, you can program the system to respond in ways to payments that need special attention. So, if you deal with a payment that needs to be rushed through the system, you can set this up automatically, rather than dealing with it manually.

A vendor portal allows you to assist your vendors and suppliers in a secure online setting, with invoice information available 24/7. It’s a dynamic self-service doorway that is priceless for any organization.