Accounts Payable Automation
When considering the switch to accounts payable automation, AP department experts have to sort through a variety of solutions to get the right fit for their company. We want to make that search easier for you – let’s talk about the most important things to consider when choosing your AP automation solution.
Will this solution help me save time and resources?
Ultimately, time costs money, and efficiency makes money. While this makes for a cute tag line, it’s also critical to consider when choosing a new automation solution. An effective accounts payable department can actually make money for the company by cutting lag time between receipt of invoice and payment made, as well as how those things happen. This will help your company qualify for those hard to reach early-pay discounts.
An enterprise level automation solution will also help you save on physical resources. Think to yourself – how much of the paper coming through the mailroom is invoices? How much of the mail going out is checks stuffed inside envelopes with return copies of those invoices? Plus, if an invoice has errors or doesn’t match your PO, it has to get sent back for correction and come back in. If you want to save on time, paper, postage, and even mailroom labor, automating invoices with your vendors is the way to go.
How will this automation solution work with my vendors?
When doing your research, it’s important to clarify how potential solutions will work with both you and your vendors to make the invoice processing routine is as seamless as possible. A quality enterprise-level AP automation solution will be easy to use and resolve issues faster through PO match exception visibility, issue/dispute notification, and invoice status visibility. The best solutions will also provide a free supplier portal that is configured specifically to the needs of both your company and your suppliers. This might include special business rules per supplier (validations, matching, approval routing), special information required on each supplier’s particular electronic invoice (such as store number, requester, etc.), and a specialized approach in terms of supplier adoption.
What are other good questions to ask providers before choosing an automation solution?
Though the two questions above are must-have questions to ask, finding the best accounts payable automation solution for your company can take some more digging. Questions are essential in this process, as many providers will try to sell you a “one size fits all” solution, but AP departments don’t work that way. Your department is unique and you, therefore, need a unique solution.
Some helpful questions when deciding between potential providers include asking how long implementation takes, what immediate benefits your company might be able to see, how flexible their solution is, how they go about supplier adoption, and what the transition will look like for your company.
In the end, accounts payable automation is about saving your department time and saving your company money. By processing invoices quicker and with greater efficiency, jobs in AP become easier as well. Plus, with high-level solutions, you gain the visibility, control, and security that your department and company need.