Traditionally, accounts payable departments were thought to have a single role: receive invoices, validate them and pay them. Then accounts payable automation came along and revolutionized the way invoices are processed. A useful tool to be sure, and yet the value of the accounts payable department was still thought of in a singular way, AP automation just did the job faster.

Not true.

AP automation has not only made paying bills faster, easier and much less expensive, it has turned accounts payable departments into centers of data collection and analysis. The smartest companies realize that AP automation can do much more than just streamline the procure to pay process. A cutting-edge accounts payable automation solution is a key source from which a company can mine valuable information for making strategic financial decisions.

Think about how much information comes through AP every day. All those invoices don’t just represent a great chunk of the company’s expenses. With the right accounts payable automation solution this information can be stored then analyzed in a variety of ways by other departments. For example, a trend in the use of a particular service or material. Trends in spending in general. Trends in costs. Powerful AP automation can even help forecast future needs.

Aside from decision making, accounts payable automation can play a crucial role in the event of an internal audit. Data is available almost instantly – data that used to take days or weeks of sifting through files to gather.

All of this is made possible because the best AP automation solutions are designed with more business needs in mind than just easy invoice processing. Flexibility, efficiency and multi-functionality are vital to competing in today’s fast-paced business world. And AP automation like InvoiceWorks® extends the value of any accounts payable department far beyond its doors.