Accounts Payable Automation Best Practices

Processing invoices can be a tedious task. For the typical accounts payable team, trying to manually process every invoice the company receives can be time consuming, especially for larger businesses with wider scales of operation. 

In comparison to automated accounts payable invoice processing, the accounts payable benchmarks or goals you try to meet while using a manual invoice processing system may be much lower due to the nature of a manual system.

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Key Accounts Payable Automation Benefits

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Reduce Costs While Increasing Efficiency

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As a member of your own company’s accounts payable team, you may have stumbled across this article in search of accounts payable process improvement ideas. As you may have already noticed, automating your accounts payable invoice processing method could be a good option in terms of boosting efficiency and cutting costs. In today’s world, there are a variety of software options available that can automate your accounts payable, many of which are created with middle-market companies in mind.

If you are actively considering a transition to an automated process, there could be a number of useful accounts payable automation best practices to explore so you can put your best foot forward. Successful adoption of an automated accounts payable method could reap large benefits when it comes to simplifying your business. This can be especially relevant if you are part of an accounts payable team currently responsible for processing and approving your own company’s bills due to suppliers.

As is typical with many types of change, you may be wary of jumping into an automated system if you are used to carrying out the process manually. What if it makes mistakes? Perhaps what comes to mind is the thought of a sample accounts payable policy and procedures manual being absolutely butchered by an automated system that can’t adhere to it, leading to disaster. Fortunately, with the right software you can avoid this.

Accounts Payable Process

AvidXchange is a provider that offers software you can use to make your entire accounts payable process more efficient. Their accounts payable automation software can allow you to follow your normal accounts payable process steps, such as receiving, tracking, and approving invoices, but without the inefficiencies of paper. AvidXchange can help ramp up your existing AP process in a way that avoids disrupting your current workflow.

With AvidXchange, you can also make fast and secure payments to suppliers; AvidXchange’s services are backed by a large supplier network consisting of approximately 700,000 companies. You could pay your suppliers—some of which may already be a part of AvidXchange’s extensive network—in a more efficient manner with AvidInvoice, a paperless invoice management and processing solution. AvidInvoice is capable of automating virtually every aspect of your process, like accounts payable data entry, approvals, and more.

As the capabilities of modern-day technology expand, so do the types of tools available to make businesses more efficient. Tools that better integrate accounts payable, predictive analytics tools, and other technologies are becoming more and more commonplace in today’s market. Over the next five years or so, due to the benefits of these technologies, you may see some of these trends become the norm for a number of businesses.

What Is Accounts Payable Automation?

It may be helpful to go into more detail to properly answer the question, “What is accounts payable automation?” How does accounts payable automation work? Automation for accounts payable relies heavily on advanced software that enables users to process invoices, as well as pay them electronically. Furthermore, an automated process can convert invoices into digital formats, organize invoices within the system, and route them for approvals. Some accounts payable technology types also have the power to issue payments to suppliers upon authorization.

An automated method of conducting the day-to-day tasks of the accounts payable team can also have a massive impact on the amount of physical materials the company uses in general. The number of filing cabinets in the office, the volume of invoices, and the instances of lost invoices can all be reduced. Accounts payable automation could be the key to making your accounts payable team as efficient as possible by eliminating much of the need for repetitive tasks to be done manually.

If you are looking specifically for the best AP automation for NetSuite, AvidXchange happens to be the industry leader in automated invoice processing and payments for the middle-market. The AvidXchange solution is built to meet the needs of many users.

Best Practices in Accounts Payable Process

Achieving automation with software like AvidXchange can help implement some of the best practices in accounts payable process and invoice work. By automating some of the frequent daily tasks of your accounts payable team, you could potentially eliminate the need for paper and streamline your entire accounts payable process for maximum efficiency and output. AvidXchange’s software in particular also grants you 24/7 visibility into the status of processing invoices, approvals, and payments to suppliers.

Diving into more detail, integrating software into your existing accounts payable workflow could aid in improving the results of your accounts payable analysis. As an accounts payable manager, when it comes to answering the question, “What is the best KPI for accounts payable?” you may find the most important KPI for billing process assessment to be the average cost of processing invoices, average time to process them, or the average number of people required for processing them. However, all three of these can be extremely valuable.

Regardless of which is most important, automation with software like AvidXchange can help you hit your accounts payable KPI benchmarks. For example, you could expect to see cost savings of between 60 and 70 percent when you automate your accounts payable.

Accounts Payable Controls

Besides improvements in efficiency and cost, automating accounts payable could also help minimize the threat of fraudsters stealing your sensitive corporate information. There are a number of accounts payable controls available when using AvidXchange’s software. So, if you find yourself hesitant to the idea of an automated system because you don’t know if you would still be able to adhere to accounts payable internal controls best practices, remember that AvidXchange values your security and autonomy. You can still follow your accounts payable internal control checklist while using an automated system, like enforcing company policy by electronic routing of invoices, for example.

With AvidXchange’s online dashboard, you can also more easily find pertinent information in a timely manner. If you want to look into your accounts payable analytics or conduct some kind of accounts payable reporting, the online dashboard can simplify the process of retrieving relevant information for audits. AvidXchange aims to store all of your data safely on its platform in a format that is easy to navigate.

In some accounts payable analytics examples, you may notice a lot of information being pulled from different sources and time periods. AvidXchange stores your invoice data, which could be helpful for other similar purposes.

AP Automation Workflow

The workflow of an automated accounts payable process is often much more efficient and streamlined than its manual counterpart. AP automation workflow can minimize the time typically spent in order to complete manual invoice and processing steps. This includes even the smallest things that truly do add up over time, such as time spent opening and sorting invoices, physically moving them to the desk of each approving party, filing processed invoices and checks, and finding those invoices again when they are needed for audits and research.

As an SAP Concur partner, AvidXchange has played a major role in SAP accounts payable automation. Concur Invoice customers use AvidXchange to process electronic payments through its extensive supplier network. Besides a partnership with SAP, AvidXchange has also integrated with NetSuite.

For users of NetSuite, AP automation solutions offered by AvidXchange are user friendly, flexible, and easy to integrate. A NetSuite accounts payable user guide would be relatively easy to follow, as users are provided with a simple, streamlined, and more secure way to process invoices and make payments. Like many of its integrations, AvidXchange provides benefits like 24/7 remote access, total control, secure payments, and the significant reduction or elimination of paper.

Invoicing Best Practices

Among the numerous invoicing best practices recommended, the fact that AvidXchange’s invoice management system is cloud based could be considered as a valuable practice. The capabilities of a cloud-based invoice management system can be profound when it comes to your existing accounts payable invoice processing flowchart or method. The reason for this is that a cloud-based system gives users the power to access any invoice-related information they need, whenever and wherever they need it, which makes it a good candidate for any accounts payable invoice processing best practices list.

AvidXchange’s invoice payment automation or processing software also increases overall visibility and control over the entire invoicing process, allowing greater flexibility when it comes to your workflow. This, combined with a cloud-based system, means you can check the status of any invoice from anywhere, on any device. AvidXchange’s software isn’t meant to replace your existing accounting system; AvidXchange is built to integrate with over 210 of the most popular, widely used accounting software systems for the middle market. With invoice automation from AvidXchange, you could go paperless, keep control, stay organized, and increase your visibility over all things accounts payable. The software is designed to work with your systems, not replace them.

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