What makes accounts payable such a difficult area to manage effectively?
A global survey, carried out by OnePoll, found that invoice handling is amongst the top five causes of business administration inefficiency.
For more than two-thirds (67%) of companies, this remains a manual process with finance professionals still having to rely on paper documents and information entered by hand.
In this white paper, we will discuss how to automate your accounts payable process including,
- How accounts payable automation works
- Why the traditional approach to accounts payable is outdated
- Benefits of accounts payable automation
How does accounts payable automation work?
While so many of business communications are now handled digitally, invoicing is one area that has remained defiantly stuck in the past. The majority of invoices still arrive either as a paper document or an email attachment.
Either way, all of the relevant information that’s contained in the invoice needs to be manually transferred into a company’s accounting system. It’s this manual process that’s the root cause of the inefficiency.
This administrative burden increases the risks of errors being made and with so much time taken up on manual processes, it limits the ability to effectively monitor invoices and to identify fraud.
What are the benefits of an automated process?
Faster invoicing process
The most obvious advantage is simply the speed with which invoices are able to be processed. Compared to a traditional approach, it’s estimated that an automated process will deliver an efficiency saving of around 90 percent.
Faster processing means better relations with clients, customers, and suppliers who receive their payments on-time. It also means avoiding any potential financial penalties incurred for late payment.
Improved approval workflow
The approvals process is greatly improved by the use of an automated system. The software can be set-up so that each invoice is automatically checked and forwarded to the appropriate approver.
Rules can be created so that larger amounts require higher-level checks. The system can also automate notifications and reminders to approvers, helping to shield against the danger of invoices getting ‘lost in the system’.
Better fraud protection
A system such as Webexpenses Invoice Processing features integrated checks to help guard against fraud and errors. When invoices are scanned, the software matches the data against known details of clients and suppliers - including emails and bank details.
The system also checks for any duplicated data. Whenever inconsistencies or suspicious information is identified, an alert is sent to the accounts payable team ...