With automated accounts payable software, your accounts payable team can work more quickly and efficiently while also boosting accuracy and security. Usually, if an accounts payable team using a manual, paper-based workflow tries to increase the speed at which they process invoices without increasing the size of the team, accuracy would probably suffer. The more invoices the team needs to process and the faster they need to process them, the more likely they are to make avoidable errors. However, an online invoice processing platform can streamline the invoicing process so that more invoices can be processed in the same amount of time without sacrificing accuracy. This makes it possible to use automated invoice processing to help you scale your business.
Crucial Features to Look for in an Invoice Processing Platform
Identifying an invoice processing platform that perfectly fits the organization’s needs often involves going beyond obvious spec sheets. Key features, hidden under a fluid user interface and swift processing capabilities, often dictate user satisfaction and operational efficiency. These features, not always apparent, become crucial in determining the platform’s overall utility.
First off, the capability to handle multiple invoice formats serves as a major consideration point. An ideal platform should easily manage PDFs, electronic documents or even the scanned images of traditional paper-based invoices. It’s about managing the variety that matters, providing organizations with sheer flexibility in handling varied invoice formats that may come their way.
Precision is another feature worth pondering. The platform’s ability to accurately extract line-item details from varied invoice types serves as a pivotal point. An invoice processing platform, regardless of its advanced attributes, losses its sheen if it cannot guarantee precise extraction. Ensuring negligible errors in data extraction could aid in maintaining tidy financial accounts.
Finally, integration, in fact seamless integration, with existing systems and processes is a feature worth its weight in gold. The chosen platform should allow effortless alignment with the present accounting software and ERP systems. It’s about ensuring a flowing symbiosis between old and new, leveraging the familiar while embracing the progressive. AvidXchange’s invoice processing platform supports more than 225 integrations with different, widely used accounting software systems, so your accounts payable team doesn’t have to disrupt their current workflow. Instead, they can simply improve it with automation services.
Vendor Invoice Management System
An accounts payable automation platform can also act as a vendor invoice management system. When you sign up for a platform like Avidxchange, you are set up with a PO box to which suppliers are then asked to send your invoices. Your accounts payable team is also set up with an email address where suppliers are asked to send digital copies of invoices. The automated vendor invoice management can then retrieve the invoice, convert it into an electronic format that can be entered into the platform’s vendor invoice management configuration guide, and post it to the system to be processed.
One benefit of using an automated accounts payable platform like AvidXchange to establish a vendor invoice management (VIM) process flow is that there is no work required from your suppliers or your accounts payable team to get your suppliers enrolled in the system. AvidXchange maintains an extensive supplier network of over 800,000 suppliers and can proactively enroll any of your suppliers that are not already a part of the system. This can make it relatively quick and easy to start using an automated accounts payable system to process payments to your suppliers, and your suppliers don’t have to be inconvenienced during the implementation process.
Online Invoice Management System
Accounts payable automation is a tool that could benefit your accounts payable team in numerous ways. Here are a few examples of the advantages that can be introduced when you implement an online invoice management system:
- Greater efficiency: An automated accounts payable workflow can be much more efficient than a manual, paper-based workflow. When invoices are moving automatically through the system, they can be processed much faster without increasing the accounts payable team’s workflow. In fact, streamlining the process in this way can actually free up a great deal of the accounts payable team’s time, which can be reallocated wherever it is needed most.
- Improved visibility: Maintaining an automated online billing system can make it possible for your accounts payable team to achieve 24/7 visibility into the status of the invoices moving through the system. A web-based billing system like AvidXchange stores invoicing data in the cloud, where it can be accessed by the accounts payable team at any time through a centralized hub.
- Optimized scalability: One of the most significant constraints on most companies’ growth is a lack of resources. As your business grows, so must your available resources. By implementing an automated online invoice management system, however, you can streamline your invoice processing workflow and enable your accounts payable team to process more payments without slowing down or using up more resources.
- Lower expenses: Another major benefit of automated online billing software is that it can help reduce the cost of processing invoices. By digitizing the invoice management workflow, you can reduce the budget that must be allocated for the accounts payable team to purchase paper supplies. This can add up to significant savings over time.
- Stronger security: Electronic invoice processing and bill payment is usually a more secure method than manually processing paper invoices. An automated digital process can help reduce the risk of cybercriminals stealing information and using it fraudulently.
The Role of Automation in Invoice Processing Platforms
Automation in invoice processing platforms isn’t just about understanding its operational significance but also appreciating its benefits. Automation, integrated within these systems, is gradually revolutionizing how companies manage their invoices. It moves the needle, transforming tedious manual processes into quick, efficient, and reliable solutions.
Automation eliminates the need for the human touch, ensured by artificial intelligence and machine learning underlying the platform. It streamlines redundant tasks, drastically reduces manual intervention, and significantly accelerates invoice processing time. This shift not only brings consistency but also mitigates the risk of errors, essentially creating a reliable and accurate system.
Beyond the obvious, automation wields an indirect influence over cost management. With less reliance on manual labor, companies observe a significant reduction in overhead costs. The after hours spent rectifying manual errors could be redirected towards core business operations, thus improving productivity and driving cost-effectiveness. It can also be a viable solution for a business that wants to scale its accounts payable team in a cost-effective manner.
Furthermore, the automated system brings transparency on board. Automation provides a clear window into tracking and managing payments, giving detailed insights into the company’s cash flow. The ability to monitor automated payments and keep track of incoming and pending invoices adds another layer of security and control over the financial framework.
To use invoice automation software to improve your company’s accounts payable process, you just need to follow a few simple steps. First, you can establish a set of rules and conditions that will serve as the automation’s parameters so the automation functions the way you want it to according to your existing workflow. Once your accounts payable team receives an invoice, they can convert it to digital format, after which the invoice automation software will begin to move the invoice through the appropriate automated workflow. When the invoice has been appropriately coded, categorized, and processed through the system, it can automatically be routed to the correct corporate leader to receive approval. After the proper approval has been received, the payment is automatically entered into your accounting system and delivered to the correct supplier.
Electronic Invoicing and Payment
Automating invoice processing and approval can be relatively simple with electronic invoicing software. This type of software can automatically convert paper invoices received by the accounts payable department into a digital format. After processing the invoice, the system can then automatically send it along to the correct corporate leader for approval. The leader to whom the invoice is routed depends on the manner in which the accounts payable team has set up the electronic bill payment software and the kinds of restrictions that have been placed on it.
By setting up an electronic invoicing and payment platform to automatically route invoices to corporate leaders for approval, your accounts payable team could save a considerable amount of time. An automated process can remove the need for accounts payable team members to constantly track down corporate leaders to get recurring approvals that could be secured easily with automation. This is just one example of the ways that electronic bill payment automation can reduce the accounts payable team’s workload and save time on repetitive manual tasks.
E Invoicing Portal
Accounts payable software can provide a more convenient way for your organization’s accounts payable team to manage invoice processing and bill payments to suppliers. A simple invoice app usually won’t have the same capabilities as a fully automated accounts payable platform.
Switching to automated invoicing software can help improve your accounts payable process in the following ways:
Improved visibility into the status of all invoices that enter the system.
Easier access to invoices via a central, cloud-based hub where accounts payable data can be viewed by anyone with an invoice login on any device connected to the internet.
More convenient payment options that can allow your accounts payable team to pay suppliers using their preferred method every time.
Accounts payable automation software can make it possible to improve your accounts payable process by increasing speed, reducing errors, saving time, improving visibility, and more. Implementing an accounts payable platform like AvidXchange could provide a way for you to scale your accounts payable process alongside your growing business.