Enterprise-Grade Automation and its Benefits for CFOs
Tasked with deciding how to spend the company’s money, the Chief Financial Officer usually makes the final decision about the accounts payable department’s budget. Accounts payable is traditionally seen as a cost center; hence the CFO’s focus is on keeping down that portion of the spending column. And that’s about it. But what if your accounts payable department were seen as a potential profit enhancer as well? By utilizing enterprise-grade automation, companies all over the world are not only cutting costs of their own department but other departments as well.
Some trick. So how do they do it?
Accounts payable is labor intensive. As invoices come in, staff collect them, input the data, reroute paper invoices that need approval, wait for them to come back and hopefully get payment out the door on time. If not on time, then someone in the department wastes valuable hours fielding calls from suppliers looking for their payment.
Enterprise-grade automation drastically cuts all that time-consuming work. In fact, turnaround time from receipt of invoice to payment should be cut down to as little as three days. Here’s how:
- The data is already where it should be when the invoice comes in,
- Communication is all electronic and visible in real time for all the key players, including suppliers and approving personnel,
- Errors that once held up payment for days or weeks can be corrected instantly, and
- A paperless system cuts out snail mail, hand-delivery between departments, and the very real possibility that the invoice will get lost in the paper shuffle
The result: No need for postage, paper checks and other materials. Less staff devoted to wasteful tasks. No more late fees. Even better, with things like early pay, or dynamic discounting, your accounts payable department can save money already allotted to suppliers by paying the bills early in exchange for shaving off a percentage of the charge. Now AP is not only streamlined, it’s helping other departments contribute to a better bottom line.
High-level, e-invoicing pays for itself in a short time. From there, it’s all saving, less stress, and a better relationship between accounts payable and the rest of the company, even suppliers.