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Celebrate Labor Day by Making AP Less “Laborious”

August 28, 2023
man and daughter grilling outside

Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer for many. A last chance to enjoy the pool and regroup as children begin a new school year. For business finance staff, it’s a respite prior to the Q4 push.

This year, in addition to relaxing with family and friends, we think Labor Day should be a time to reflect on how to make your job less “laborious.” And it just so happens our 2023 AP Career Satisfaction Survey results have some tips on how to do just that.

Reduce Manual Work

Accounts payable (AP) departments are often full of tedious manual tasks. From filing paperwork to routing approvals to signing checks, there’s no shortage of time-intensive menial work. Often, this manual work can be consuming, leaving no time for AP staff to focus on more strategic and meaningful projects.

Our survey, conducted alongside the Institute of Finance & Management (IOFM), found that a staggering 94% of AP professionals said they would use a tool to automate the most repetitive parts of their job. They said automation would help them save time (85%), reduce errors (79%) and focus on more fulfilling work (65%).

We learned that AP pros with fully automated systems are 11 times more likely to work on strategic initiatives daily. Additionally, they’re more satisfied with their current role and feel more connected to their organization’s mission.

Improve Work-Life Balance

A culture of overwork is rampant in AP departments. Our IOFM AP Career Satisfaction survey underscored this, finding that 77% of AP staff work 40 to 50+ hours each week.

Our survey also revealed that only 22% of AP professionals took their full paid time off (PTO) allotment in 2022, and 35% took less than half their PTO. Even when AP pros take time off, their PTO is often shaded with worry over whether critical tasks will be accomplished in their absence.

PTO balance graphic

“[AP automation] allows a team to actually be able to step out of the office, go on vacation and not have to worry about, ‘Oh, is somebody going to be entering in all the invoices?’ or ‘Is somebody going to make sure that all those images are uploaded?’ and ‘Is somebody going to file those?’ or ‘Is the check going to get out?’” said Jarett Tran, senior account executive, AvidXchange. “You’re not going to get called on vacation because some vendor didn’t get their check today. That’s a big deal.” 

With only four months left in the year, take stock of your PTO. Will you be able to use it before you lose it at the end of the year? You deserve a break from the office to recharge – one where the pile of work waiting upon your return doesn’t cast a shadow. Automation technology can help.  

Automation makes AP processes more efficient so staff feel comfortable taking the time they need to rest. Solutions like AvidInvoice enable sophisticated workflows that automatically reroute invoices when someone involved in the process is out of the office to keep things circulating without interruption. AvidPay enables automated bill payment, helping ensure suppliers are paid on time even when AP staff are out.

Unsurprisingly, our survey found that 83% of those working in automated AP departments said their work/life balance was healthy compared to 45% of those working in departments with manual systems. Avoid burnout by letting automation technology take some tasks off your plate.

Boost Job Satisfaction and Flexibility

As a result of our survey, we learned that automation boosts overall career satisfaction. Seventy-five percent believe automation will have a positive long-term impact on their career.

Automation is a desired and welcome addition to most AP departments. Of the AP workers we surveyed, 78% said they welcome the use of modern technology in financial operations because it will allow their team to work more efficiently.

Additionally, at a time when the majority of the global workforce prefers hybrid work, automation makes this a reality for AP teams by enabling 24/7 visibility to invoice status and reporting. Employees can check accounts and make updates from anywhere with any device. No more filing paper invoices or printing and mailing checks.

Celebrate your AP team and all of their hard work this Labor Day by learning more about automation and how it can improve processes at your workplace. Automated AP departments are empowered with the tools they need to amplify efficiencies and deliver detailed reporting.

AP pros who work in automated departments have higher job satisfaction, better engagement and more positive feelings towards their employer and the company’s mission. Plus, they’re more productive and efficient. Automation is truly a win-win for businesses and the people who make their AP department run.

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