By David Singletary
Your organization has embraced advanced technology everywhere it seems to fit. In that way, you’re staying competitive in your industry and meeting the expectations of clients or customers. Nonetheless, if your accounts payable people aren’t leveraging technology to streamline workflow, your company is still missing the mark.
Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you make a change. Here are some of the leading benefits of a changeover to an automated AP system.
Workflow is streamlined. When your billings department gets an invoice, it will be automatically entered into your accounting system. Then it gets automatically sent to the right people for internal review and approval. Auto alerts and reminders end the tedious practice of team members sending emails or making phone calls to remind others that the invoice requires their attention.
Everyone is working from the same virtual page. Today’s automated systems are in the cloud. What that means to your operation is that everyone can see the same data from wherever they are -- in the next office or across the country. There’s no waiting on billing questions or approvals until Frank or Marybeth return from vacation or a long lunch. And no need to print out reams of invoice pages to address issues in a meeting.
You can easily integrate data to your accounting software. There’s no need to waste time rekeying any information. Some of the most effective AP systems sync with most popular ERP or accounting systems.
Your business will have any easier time earning vendor discounts. What a lot of the key benefits of popular AP automation systems add up to is the enhanced ability to process invoices and pay vendors faster. When that happens, you’re positioned to take advantage of any available discounts for doing so.
You’ll use your people more productively. Manual systems involve a lot of menial tasks. Manually entering invoices and processing checks are important steps in the process, but not too fulfilling or career enhancing. An automated system will sharpen skills, boost morale and put more team members on enriching career paths.
You’ll have better real-time insight into company finances and billing operations. Automated reporting is accurate, transparent and virtually instantaneous. Most automated AP systems come with dashboards and real-time visibility to whoever should be involved. You’ll always know what’s going on with cash flow and the accounts payable cycle. You’ll know the average time it takes to process an invoice and where any weaknesses or vulnerabilities might be.