The Undeniable Benefits of AP Automation

By iPayables | March 30, 2016

In an increasingly fast paced high tech world, nothing is more important than efficiency. If a business is inefficient, it loses money. If customer or supplier relations is poor, it can lose money. The good news is that AP automation has transformed accounts payable organizations worldwide into a reliable method that can change AP departments into a profit center.

The Argument for EIPP

If you run a business, the goal is to get your products or services out there to as many people as possible. Yet, with growth and an increase in sales come additional challenges. One of the biggest is the surge in transactions that occurs as numbers climb and rising demand puts a strain on accounts payable processes.

According to a recent study, the need for improvement in the management of payment transactions is top of the list of concerns for businesses. Just under half expressed concerns about the speed of their AP strategies and a further 35% spoke of the pressures of financial information delivery.

Understanding the Benefits of Real Time Data

One of the reasons why accounts payable automation (or electronic invoicing) is so beneficial for businesses is because it allows them to work with real time data. With traditional methods like paper invoicing, it’s simply impossible to respond instantly to situations, when they occur. This puts organizations at a disadvantage. It means that transactions are inflexible, unchanging, and often left stuck in a ‘limbo’ period between delivery and payment. If alterations are needed, a paper record of the change must be created, so the incorrect invoice has to be received, returned, voided, and redelivered.

With a consistent e-invoicing system, this can be done in a matter of minutes and there is still a digital record of the process. As the number of customers, vendors, and suppliers grows, it is essential to keep up with the transactions processed each week.

The Three Main Functions of AP Automation

The integration of accounts payable and AP workflow processes are the strategies most commonly employed by the top performing businesses. These market leaders understand that investment in accounts payable automation significantly decreases turnaround times for transactions, but increases their overall accuracy.

Within operations running AP automation processes, transaction policies are rigidly adhered to. Plus, alerts and specially designed triggers mean that managers can be personally informed of the need to approve or assess invoices as they move through the system, rather than once they have already reached the end and are waiting to be delivered.

The three main functions of accounts payable automation are as follows:

Enterprise Resource Planning: ERP solutions can be used to automatically prioritize the most urgent transactions and alter invoice amounts, based on any numbers and circumstantial triggers that you might need to integrate.

AP/Invoice Process Automation: this is typically a standalone function, but it is popular with businesses that tend to expand in an unstructured fashion. Its external influence means that, as more customers are added to the transaction list, the accompanying information can be integrated and exported easier.

Supplier Self Service Portal: the self-service portal is ideal for organizations to resolve their product inquires or support issues. It allows them to resolve their issues 24/7 instead of reaching out to the company directly.  This feature has allowed suppliers and vendors to have their own open channels of interaction

The Time is Right to Invest in EIPP

The advantages of investing in a robust electronic invoicing system are numerous. For example, businesses with AP automation process, on average, four times as many transactions as those without them. If this isn’t enough to convince you of the benefits of AP automation, recent studies have shown that e-invoicing solutions can save businesses as much as 75% in processing times otherwise lost to data capture responsibilities.

If efficiency is saving time and saving time is saving money, it is clear that accounts payable automation could be helping your business to make more of it all.

Share On: