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Your Guide to Automating Accounts Payable

It may seem like a big undertaking to go about automating accounts payable processes throughout your business.

To help, here’s a quick guide, and some actionable steps you can take.

Why should I consider automating accounts payable?

You may want to consider accounts payable automation if you’re looking to streamline operations, lower costs and deliver more personalized services to customers.

Read more: 5 Key Questions to Ask Before Automating Your AP Processes

You also may want to consider accounts payable automation if you need your executives to be able to approve invoices from anywhere with an Internet connection, at anytime.

There’s another reason. You’ll boost productivity and process more invoices and payments without hiring more employees.

You’ll also reduce your manual labor costs – often one of your more expensive AP processing costs.

5 Signs It’s Time to Automate

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How do you automate accounts payable?

There are eight steps to automating your accounts payable, beginning with an inward look at your AP department.

Let’s take a closer look:

  1. Decide what problems you’re most interested in solving by automating AP. If it’s to speed up payments, mark that down. If it’s to minimize mistakes, add that to the list.
  2. Estimate the financial returns you’ll gain by automating AP. Then you’ll need to sell the investment to your internal teams especially AP managers, controllers, and your CFO.
  3. Select an AP automation software that’s well-suited to solve the problems you’ve identified as most important.
  4. Implement the software into your corporate system. Test it in small stages to make sure it works with your accounting software and enterprise resource planning software.

How does automating accounts payable affect the invoice approval process?

Automating accounts payable can help reduce duplicate payments and mistakes. And it reduces the time it takes chasing business leaders to approve invoices by automatically notifying them when they have an online invoice to approve.

Read more: Is Paperless Accounts Payable Right For Your Business?

How does automating accounts payable affect the payment process?

Automating accounts payable affects the payment process accelerates the speed at which you deliver payments to your vendors and suppliers. This is huge – payment delays are a major problem inherent with manual processes and strain business relationships.

Automation also reduces the number of duplicate and incorrect payments you send to vendors and suppliers.

Payment Automation: The Final Frontier For Full AP Efficiency

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Will AP software integrate with my accounting system?

It’s important to use an AP software that integrates with your accounting system. You need to send and receive invoice and payments data back and forth between the AP automation and accounting system. That’s fundamental to this whole process working effectively.

What are other benefits to automating accounts payable?

We’ve already shared some benefits to automating accounts payable.

Here are several more:

  • When you stop using paper checks and paper processes, you’ll reduce costs associated with check stock, printing suppliers, envelopes and postage.
  • When you automate AP, you make it much easier and faster for auditors to find financial information. You don’t have to dig through filing cabinets and other disparate places for paper documents auditors want to see.
  • AP automation reduces the numbers of exceptions you need to deal with in the invoice process. This means there will be fewer cases when invoices and purchase orders don’t match and need to be investigated. So you’ll spend less time and money resolving exceptions.


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