In today’s compartmentalized corporate world, we tend to think on a micro level. We focus on our individual function, our sub-role in the greater picture, and leave the larger picture for someone else in the company to worry about.

This is no less true for accounts payable departments. In this case, the focus is getting the bills paid on time, so that materials and services will keep rolling in. Any proposed change to the AP system, therefore, raises only one question: will such a change make it easier and/or faster for my staff to pay the bills?

The right question for sure, but it doesn’t end there. It’s time to stop thinking of AP not as a single cog but part of the whole machine. By taking that next step in the evolution of accounts payable, the AP department will affect your company in ways you may never have considered.

Start with saving money. Even a department from which money usually flows in only one direction (out the door) can make its contribution to a leaner operation. With cutting edge AP automation, companies large and small save on the bottom line by cutting paper, postage, labor and time. For many companies, late fees are also a thing of the past, thanks to dramatically reduced turnaround time.

That’s not all. How would you like to think of your department not only as a money saver but a money maker? This is what happens when you (finally!) take advantage of early-pay discounts. Your financial department will see you in a whole different light.

Aside from easing the mailroom’s burden, an automated AP workflow makes life a little easier for just about every department. With accounts payable data visible and accessible in real time, authorizations and matching of documentation can be done anytime, from any networked desktop, with a click of a mouse.

With such ease of use and accessibility throughout the company, confidence in the process naturally increases. Here’s another way confidence gets boosted: if and when an audit is performed, all data within the AP department will be available electronically, where it can be easily retrieved, cross-referenced, and compiled according to need. Audits don’t have to be a time-consuming nightmare anymore.

No longer do you have to think of your AP department as just a one-way funnel through which money flows out of the company coffers. With AP automation, your department will contribute to the bottom line, while making the office a less stressful place to work.