What does it mean to have a “large” payables department?
Accounts payable departments are responsible for making sure that their company’s credits are balanced. When a company purchases goods from a supplier (or vendor) on credit, the accounts payables department makes sure that they get paid back. This can be more difficult if you have a large department. But what does it mean to have a “large” payables department?
When you have a “large” accounts payable department, it could mean one of three things – first, you could have a large number of professionals working in the department; second, your department processes a large number of invoices every month; finally, a combination of the two previous options.
The type of “large” that best defines your department is going to affect what it takes to automate and what the automation looks like. Accounts payable automation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; we’re going to discuss what you should be asking yourself to understand what kind of department you have.
A large number of professionals working in the department
If your accounts payable department has more than 7 professionals working in the department, you have a large accounts payable department. That may not actually sound like that big of a number, but the truth is that an efficiently automated department just doesn’t need that many people. More people means a single invoice will be traded through more hands and viewed by more people. The more people that touch an invoice, the greater chance there is for errors, misplacement, and security issues. When looking at accounts payable automation solutions, the most important features you should be looking at are customized workflows and the ability to track invoice access and edits. Once automated, processing an invoice takes less time and less personal involvement. This gives your valued employees time to focus on things like fraud prevention, audit preparation and execution, and taking advantage of early-pay discounts.
A large number of invoices going through the AP department
If your accounts payable department is dealing with thousands of invoices each month, it can be hard to keep your head above water, especially if you only have a few people trying to work with paper. Oftentimes, employees will feel rushed during their manual data entry, leading to costly mistakes. Even if you have some form of automation, if personnel constantly feel like they never have enough time in the day to process all the invoices that are coming through, you have a large department.
A combination of the two
If your department is a combination of the two above, then it’s definitely time to level-up your automation. Having a large number of employees who are still overwhelmed by the amount of invoices received means you’re doing a lot of business, and that business is important. You can’t afford to have misplaced, incorrect, and duplicate invoices and payments. If you have a large AP department, you need an enterprise-level solution that is designed to handle all the complexities that come with that, while keeping the control and visibility in your hands.
What does it mean to have a “large” payables department? Most likely it means you need high-level accounts payable invoice automation to ensure your invoice security and the efficiency of your department. While it may seem like a big cost to automate a large department, you get your return on investment quickly, especially in the time and money you save processing all those invoices.