From the days of paper and pencil to the advent of computers and now the era of automation and machine learning, society is changing rapidly. In the financial world, the automated accounts payable system is the next big thing and organizations are embracing this new technology generously. Among the essential ingredients to a successful accounts payable system are safety and security. An unsecured AP system is vulnerable to fraud and unauthorized access that has many adverse effects including financial loss and a tarnished reputation. Companies can adopt various measures to ensure accounts payable system safety.
1. Create Awareness of Security Measures
In the contemporary world, there are numerous security risks to AP systems such as fraud, hacking, skimming, check tampering, and incorrect expense reimbursement. All these risks can affect your organization’s finances and reputation adversely, but the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners affirms that fraud related to billing is most rampant in AP systems.
These security risks cause massive financial losses especially for companies without fraud protection mechanisms. For instance, many criminals target small and medium-sized enterprises because they do not have big budgets to support security interventions. Therefore, it is essential to create awareness of security risks for all employees especially AP system users. Everyone in the organization from the receptionist to the senior manager should be knowledgeable about identifying and tackling potential issues.
2. Encourage Accountability
Automated AP systems enable two-step authentication by allowing for checks and accountability. In addition to this, it is essential to create accountability among employees who work in the AP process. The company should develop a process for reporting potential issues and suspected fraud. It is advisable to have multiple persons receive such information to get more people involved and guard against insider threats. The persons should be of different ranks, not just the superiors because research shows most perpetrators of fraud are executives and directors.
3. Embrace Safety Checks
Business should invest in distinct safety checks to avert fraud. Before the approval of any payment, several people should review it. The process of approval should be transparent to avoid fraudulent transactions.
4. Latest AP Software
To get a bird’s eye view, you should invest in the latest AP software that has extra protection features. You can use the iPayable automated AP system that has features for additional protection. iPayables offers electronic invoicing and employ the highest encryption protocols to ensure customer accounts payable system safety.
Also, consider moving most of your processes to digital for further protection. For example, unlike paperwork, documents are less susceptible to loss and unauthorized access.
5. Prevent Human Error
Human errors can be extremely costly to an organization, and hence the need to prevent them. AP automation addresses the issue of numerous human errors through encryptions hence enhances accuracy. However, an organization must keep in mind that new technologies such as automated AP systems complement human skills. Although computers process data extraordinarily well and quickly, they rely on AP professionals to feed them with accurate numbers.
Accounts Payable system safety is an area many companies overlook and neglect. However, it is a crucial area that can cause losses of tens and hundreds of dollars in fraud and other adverse outcomes. With new types of security threats evolving each day, it is vital for organizations to adopt measures to ensure a safer AP system. A firm should educate employees on security threats and potential remedies, create safety checks, encourage accountability, and prevent human errors to promote a safer AP system. Automated AP systems work with the AP team to attain a white glove approach to keeping information safe and secure.