Stand Up for Your Accounts Payable Department
There are so many places throughout the paper invoicing process that mistakes could be made – manual data entry opens up the possibility for misprinted values, workflow process challenges lead to lost or missing invoices, and fraud becomes an easy crime to commit where there is little to no accountability of who touches or changes an invoice along the way. With all these issues, your accounts payable department is fighting a constant battle to make sure that the AP department has the highest efficiency and fewest errors they can possibly have; because if something goes wrong with suppliers or finances, the AP department is often the first to be blamed.
The best way to ensure that your employees have the greatest chance of success and better standings in the company as a whole is by switching to a start-to-finish accounts payable automation solution. Switching to start-to-finish solution has a variety of benefits, but the three biggest benefits are increased accuracy, cost savings, and best in class security and control.
Data entry errors are among the biggest AP problems for departments that have not embraced automation. The errors mainly emanate from tired AP professionals who have been staring at paper and/or screens all day trying to key in as much information as quickly as possible. As AP professionals enter data manually from invoices into the computer, errors become inevitable.
Accounts payable invoice automation removes data entry errors completely. A high-level solution involves a supplier portal which allows for electronic invoicing, reducing human interaction with invoices, leaving no room for error. In fact, effective portals don’t even allow suppliers to submit an invoice until all required data, as determined by your department, is filled in and matches known information.
Best in class security and control
Fraud is a pressing issue affecting accounts payable departments. Payables is a prime target for fraud because large amounts of money leave the company frequently through the department. Therefore, fraud not only results in a financial loss but can also ruin an organization’s reputation. On top of that, implementing anti-fraud controls in a manual AP system is relatively hard, so many companies can do little to secure their department.
Fortunately, high-level accounts payable automation solutions have features in place that drastically reduce opportunities for fraud. First, invoices are better tracked, so you not only know who’s viewed an invoice, but also when and what, if any, changes were made. Second, if an invoice amount is drastically different from what is usual for a particular supplier, the invoice is flagged for review. Third, payments can also be made electronic so that paper checks cannot be changed or intercepted. Finally, due to the reduced time in your accounts payable department spent manually inputting invoice data, people can spend more time looking for early signs of fraud and preventing it before it happens.
Accounts payable departments lose money in many ways when using manual invoice processing methods. First, processing vast numbers of invoices manually is costly. Organizations spend approximately $3-13 to process a single invoice. Paper invoicing is labor intensive and time consuming, increasing the likelihood of mistakes, misplaced invoices, and missed payments. These small errors will add up quickly.
AP automation results in cost savings and reduces the money an organization loses. It cuts the cost of processing invoices substantially, saving your business significant money. For example, with a best-in-class solution, the cost of an invoice can drop to $1-3 or less. On top of it all, you will never have to pay a late fee again, and can even take advantage of dynamic discounting. For big organizations processing many invoices each month, the cost savings are enormous.
Switching to a best-in-class automation solution
Your accounts payable department works hard, so it’s important to ensure that that hard work pays off, both for them, and the company. By switching to a best-in-class accounts payable automation solution, you can increase your accuracy, decrease your risk of fraud, and save time and money. So, for the sake of your employees and your company, find out more about what solution could be right for you.