What is an AP System?
In business and finance, an “Accounts Payable” (AP) system refers to the processes and software used by organizations to manage and track their financial obligations to vendors and suppliers. As a manual system, Accounts payable can become disorganized when businesses are processing hundreds or even thousands of payments every month. AvidXchange provides an AP system solution in the form of automated software that can streamline a business’s accounts payable process.
One of the positive aspects of AvidXchange’s AP system is that it can be easily integrated with other accounts payable tools. Accounts payable teams can use AvidXchange with their existing accounting software so that a whole new process does not need to be implemented. The established process can simply be automated by AvidXchange for a faster, more efficient workflow. A business’s current approval rules can be added to the automation so invoices can be quickly routed to the correct individuals without having to waste time tracking them down.
Automating an AP process can allow for greater visibility into the workflow. Accounts payable teams can see every step of the process and exercise full control over the way their process is integrated with the automation. The workflow can operate a bit like an AP process flowchart; the automation moves payments through the steps automatically, but the whole process is visible to the accounts payable team from start to finish.
An automated AP system could be the solution for a disorganized and inefficient accounts payable workflow. Automation could speed up the process of moving invoices through the accounts payable pipeline and enable bills to be paid faster and with a greater degree of accuracy.
Types of AP Systems
There are different types of AP systems, each designed with a different focus to help organizations manage and process their financial obligations. Common types include:
- Accounting Software: Many organizations use general accounting software that includes accounts payable modules. Examples include QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, and FreshBooks. These systems often automate processes like invoice entry, payment processing, and reporting.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems: ERP systems integrate various business processes, including accounts payable, into a unified platform. Examples of ERP systems include SAP, NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics. These systems provide a comprehensive solution for managing finances, supply chain, and other business functions.
- Cloud-Based AP Systems: Cloud-based accounts payable systems are hosted on remote servers, allowing users to access them via the internet. AvidXchange is one example of a cloud-based AP system and includes features like electronic invoicing, approval workflows, and collaboration tools.
- Automated Invoice Processing Systems: Some organizations use specialized software focused on automating the invoice processing workflow. These systems often include features like optical character recognition (OCR) for scanning and extracting data from invoices, reducing the need for manual data entry.
- Integrated Payment Platforms: Some AP systems integrate with payment platforms to streamline the payment process. This may include features such as electronic funds transfer (EFT), ACH payments, and virtual credit card payments.
- Vendor Management Systems: Some AP systems also include vendor management functionalities. These features help businesses track and manage their relationships with suppliers, including performance metrics, contract management, and communication tools.
When selecting an accounts payable system, organizations should consider factors such as the size of their operations, the volume of transactions, integration capabilities with other systems, and the level of automation needed. The choice often depends on an organization’s specific needs and preferences.
AP Systems Installation
AvidXchange’s easy integration can allow it to be implemented with minimal interruption to a business’s established AP system. The automation software can integrate with over 210 popular middle-market accounting software systems. AvidXchange does not replace a business’s existing accounts payable workflow but rather streamlines its current workflow. This makes AP systems installation easy.
It can be frustrating when an AP system does not work correctly. For example, an AP systems password reset might waste a lot of time. AvidXchange can help accounts payable teams avoid headaches caused by technical issues. New customers have access to an AvidXchange support team that can assist with implementation to make sure the software is correctly integrated and running exactly as planned. AvidXchange can also provide AP systems training to teach accounts payable teams how to use the platform and get the most out of its capabilities.
After the implementation process is complete, the AvidXchange support team will remain available to provide ongoing support and educational resources. The time it takes to implement AvidXchange may be different from client to client, but the implementation process does not usually take longer than forty-five days. AvidXchange’s support team is available during AP systems installation to help facilitate a smooth transition to an automated system.
AP Systems App
AvidXchange functions as a cloud-based accounts payable app that can be accessed remotely. Accounts payable teams who use a cloud-based AP systems app could access their accounts payable information remotely from any device. This can improve visibility into the accounts payable process and allow for flexibility when it is needed.
Accounts payable teams could work more quickly and efficiently with remote access to their accounts payable systems. An accounts payable app that can be accessed from anywhere could save accounts payable teams time and help keep them organized. If a problem arises, it can be quickly addressed by an accounts payable team member even if they are not in the office physically.
The freedom to work remotely could benefit accounts payable teams by enabling them to work more productively. In-person work has its advantages, but cloud-based accounts payable software has the potential to be a faster and more efficient platform.
The ability to check on accounts payable data remotely can increase accounts payable teams’ visibility into their process. Physical storage methods like filing cabinets full of paper records can easily become disorganized. Locating accounts payable information might require large amounts of time to be spent searching through drawers or stacks of papers. Accounts payable software with cloud-based storage can make it much faster to find specific accounts payable information.
AvidXchange’s accounts payable software is a suite that includes automated invoice processing software called AvidInvoice. AvidInvoice is the part of the system that can automate invoice management. AvidInvoice can streamline a business’s invoicing process by matching the current invoice system with automation.
An automated invoice system can improve a business’s invoicing process in a few ways. First, using e-invoicing software can be a lot faster than manually managing incoming invoices. An automated process could work much more efficiently and allow the accounts payable team to cut out wasted time and improve productivity.
Secondly, e-invoicing software could improve the accuracy of a business’s invoice system. As a business grows and finds itself needing to process increasing numbers of invoices, it becomes easier and easier for the occasional human error to slip into the system. By processing incoming invoices electronically and routing them for approval automatically, accounts payable teams may be able to reduce the risk of human error. Automation can carry out the necessary steps as if it were following a vendor invoice processing checklist, which makes it much less likely than a human to make a clerical error or route an invoice incorrectly.
Using an invoice system that allows invoices to be scanned and uploaded digitally can also help reduce paper use. Using fewer paper products can help businesses save money on materials like stamps and envelopes for mailing payments. Also, less paper to keep track of often leads to improved organization and greater efficiency overall.
Bill Pay System
AvidXchange’s accounts payable software suite also includes an automated bill pay system called AvidPay. An electronic bill pay system has the potential to speed up bill payments to vendors and generally improve a business’s payment process flow. Switching to an electronic bill pay system comes with multiple advantages.
If an accounts payable team is struggling with an inefficient payment system, they might find a solution in an electronic bill pay system. AvidPay can streamline a business’s payment process flow by automating its bill pay system. This could create a more efficient workflow that allows all bill payments to be handled electronically.
An electronic bill pay system could revitalize a slow payment system, but it could also improve security and reduce the risk of fraud. It can also provide vendors with multiple bill pay options for added flexibility. AvidXchange maintains a supplier network that makes it easy to send payments to vendors using their preferred methods because their payment preferences are already included in the AvidXchange platform.
There are a multitude of bill pay options available to businesses. An electronic bill pay system has many advantages that could make it a viable choice for businesses that want to improve their accounts payable workflow.
AP System Automation
One of the most significant advantages of AP system automation is that it can help reduce the need for paper products and manual tasks within an accounts payable workflow. With AvidXchange’s invoicing automation, invoices can be scanned and converted to digital form. Digital invoices can then be automatically organized and routed to the necessary people for approval via automated invoice routing. After receiving the required approvals, payments are then sent out to suppliers, utilizing their preferred method of payment.
Bill pay automation can make it easier for accounts payable teams to manage bill payments to vendors. One of the ways it does this is by improving visibility into invoicing and bill payment processes. Accounts payable teams can also reduce costs by using AP system automation. Digital invoices are less expensive to process than paper invoices because there is no need to spend money on paper supplies. Additionally, bill pay automation can save a business time by eliminating the waiting period for paper payments to be delivered in the mail.
AP System automation can also make it easier for a business to scale its accounts payable system. A business that has recently grown from a small business to a middle-market company might find it difficult to keep up with increasing accounts payable demands. Bill pay automation could help in this scenario by enabling more efficient payment processing. Invoicing automation can handle a steadily growing invoice processing workload without taking up more resources as the workload increases.
AP System Online
Some businesses may be looking for the most secure way to pay bills online. Using a cloud-based accounts payable system to pay bills online could help improve security and reduce the risk of fraud. An online invoicing system can also provide greater visibility into the status of invoices and organize all accounts payable information electronically, which could allow an accounts payable team to access it more conveniently.
Paying bills to vendors with an AP system online has numerous potential advantages over managing bills manually. By switching to online invoicing and bill payment with an automated software solution like AvidXchange, businesses could improve their accounts payable process.