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Accounts Payable Olympics: Can Your AP Team Take Gold in These 8 Events?

July 22, 2021
Large group of business people on a starting line ready for sports race in the office. Focus is on man in blue suit.

In corporate financial departments, and throughout accounts payable (AP) managers’ homes, and just about everywhere, people are enjoying the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Not coincidentally, a similar and concurrent rise in Olympics enthusiasm is buzzing in business and technological innovation hubs all over the accounts payable (AP) arena.

Rocking a starring role, and positioned at center court, is AP automation. Time-honored and paper-averse, AP automation now shines like a world-class championship athlete in virtually every event AP department across the globe unknowingly competes in every day.

What are these events, you ask? Let us explain.

Simply play along. Swim with speed and ease and think about how your AP department could better compete with AP automation software and services in these eight key events in the “Accounts Payable Olympics.”

Accounts Payable Olympics: Main Events

Data Entry Archery

Data entry, like archery, comes down to a game of precision. Hit the bullseye and score big; miss by a hair and you’re done.

Precision also looms large in the AP world. Even the slightest miss can often wipe out your chances for swift invoices approvals and on-time payments.

Data entry misses, such as transposing just one number, can send you home without any hardware. Using AP software, you’ll mitigate those misses and bump up your chances of winning gold big-time.

Supplier Relations Gymnastics

Gymnastics is, in the views of many, one of the most subjective sports. Judges can have a big say in who wins and loses. Suppliers in the AP world are like those judges. They’ve got their own subjective preferences for how they get paid.

If you make it hard for suppliers to get paid on-time, they’re bound to pivot towards someone who can make it easier. Prevent this. Become the best gymnast in the sweepstakes with AP software.

Flex to make sure your suppliers can always find out when they’re getting paid – and make sure that happens on time. Win this game and you’ll take the top spot on the podium.

Paper Chase Marathon

An almost unthinkable test of mental and physical endurance, the Olympic marathon extends 26.2 miles. Non-stop and all kinds of brutal, it takes participants several hours to finish – if they do at all.

AP managers using paper processes can relate to a marathon runner’s distress. They spend unimaginable amounts of time chasing down invoices and purchase orders in far-away files and disheveled filing cabinets. It’s a meandering and seemingly endless journey.

The good news? AP automation shortens this marathon into a quick and relaxing race to the finish line, all the way from receiving invoices to sending out payments – electronically. Think of AP automation as an Olympic sprinting event: quick, exhilarating and done with.

Payment Sprints

Speaking of sprints, during the Olympics you’ll be able to see a spellbinding event: the 100-meter dash. Eight racers blast out. Then are done. In a blur. Ten seconds.

Think the opposite of blur when you picture paper-based AP processes. Late payments lead to losing customers and waning productivity. What’s the answer? AP automation. It’s like a sprinter. There’s no letting up – all out, full throttle, all the way, every day. Start. Stop. Done. Who’s next?

Invoice Approval Relay

The 4×100-meter relay running race is about running fast, but also making quick exchanges of the baton. No matter how fast you run, if you drop the baton you lose the race.

When manual processes are used, batons slip through peoples’ hands with alarming regularity. With nagging phone calls and emails, AP managers chase leaders to get approvals. These are like failed relay exchanges. Each baton dropped amounts to wasted time and slower payments. There’s rarely a medal for these teams.

AP automation makes sure invoices pass from one business leader to another without any of them dropping – meaning not approving — the invoice (baton). With custom approval workflow, this baton can even skip a steps and make it to the anchor in world-record time.

Visibility Freestyle

Olympic swimmers wear goggles so they can see under water. With better visibility, they swim straighter and faster.

Visibility’s also a winning formula among AP managers. Problem is, they often struggle to see the status of invoices and payments. Feeling a lack of control, they turn to AP automation for answers. Whenever and wherever they want, they’ve got the visibility they need to succeed.

Exceptions Handball

In handball, players from each team use their hands to heave a ball into the other team’s goal. Likewise, AP managers use their hands in AP processing to check out invoices flagged as exceptions.

Using fewer hands, AP automation catches more problems and minimizes exceptions. This scores you business points: lower expenses and faster payments.

Fraudster (De)Fencing

Those clever fencers, you know their gig. They look for ways to score points by poking at opponents’ vulnerable areas. Similarly, financial fraudsters pursue windows of weakness to poke into and damage your business and employees.

A protective sword against this is AP automation software. It detects suspicious activity and removes the many vulnerabilities of paper invoices and checks. The fraudster loses. You win.

Feel good about that. Go ahead. Add another gold medal to your collection.

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