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Building a Business Case: How AP Automation Benefits Every Level of the Organization

December 20, 2017
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The benefits of automated accounts payable processes have been well documented by PayStream Advisors and others in recent years as the technology has matured and become widely available. AP and payment automation brings change to many levels of an organization. Being able to understand and articulate it can help you convince the C-level that an investment in AP is a good way to enhance overall competitive advantages.

Automation and the AP Manager

AvidXchange makes the payment approval process easier and more efficient for AP Managers. As an AP manager, your goal is to ensure payments of vendor invoices and expense vouchers are timely while maintaining accurate records and control reports. As a supervisor, you’re also responsible for making sure the accounts payable department is performing their duties efficiently.

With paperless invoice processing, the AP manager can easily approve payments in batches and be alerted automatically when issues arise, such as payment disputes with suppliers. This gives you time to focus on higher-level tasks such as overseeing and developing the AP staff and keeping up with the latest technological and financial advancements. 

For clerks and other members of the AP team, automation minimizes the need for manual tasks such as data entry, handling and filing physical documents, looking up each TIN individually, and printing checks. Clerks can focus instead on more important tasks such as verifying data for accuracy, handling exceptions, answering questions from suppliers, maintaining the master vendor file, and analyzing numbers.

No longer does a team member need to worry as much about fixing data entry errors and transpositions. AP automation reduces the frustration of manually working through exceptions and reduces repetitive and time-consuming tasks for many other team members.

Automation and the Controller

One of the common myths of AP automation is that controllers lose control in the process. Actually, automation provides more control over and increased visibility into the payment process. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can search for and retrieve invoice and payment information at nearly any time and from nearly anywhere you have access to the Internet.

AP automation also makes the payment approval process easier and more efficient for controllers. Personalized business rules automate the routing, matching and circulation of invoices, which are configured to your company’s specific needs.

In addition to faster processing times, greater accuracy, and better compliance with tax laws, AP automation provides you with the peace of mind that you’re in control of not only the accounts payable department but the financial health of your organization.

Automation and the CFO

According to a recent survey by PayStream Advisors, there has been serious movement in recent years toward electronic payments and other forms of AP technology. Automating accounts payable processes can significantly improve your company’s overall financial operations, but how does it affect you?

By studying the financial operations dashboards, you can see and compare real-time metrics–such as days payable outstanding (DPO) and days sales outstanding (DSO)–for an unabridged view of your company’s financial health. This allows you to be a stronger resource for the CEO and the board of directors in charting your business strategy.

If you want to leverage your cash-on-hand more efficiently to pay for vendor goods and services, automation provides valuable visibility into your organization’s cash flow. You can assist the CEO in high-level decision-making in ways that help your business grow and become more profitable, such as mergers and acquisitions, capital improvements, launches of new products and services, geographic expansion, and increases in staffing.

Paper-based requisitioning systems are unwieldy and introduce unnecessary delays to the purchase order routing process. Paperwork for product and service purchases is often completed after the purchase has been made. With AP automation, your accounts payable team will benefit from faster processing times, greater accuracy in payments, and less staff time allocated to data entry.

Want to learn more about change management and how it can help your business implement an AP and payment automation solution? AvidXchange is here to help finance departments build a business case for AP Automation without hesitation.


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