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Resources   /   Mastering Fundamentals of AP Automation

Chapter Two: Description of Accounts Payable Software

AP automation software helps drive consistency in payment processes.

Let’s take a closer look at AP automation software, how it works and the benefits it delivers to your business.

Defining What AP Automation Software Does

AP automation software manages the AP process from receiving the invoice all the way to paying suppliers while maintaining all the existing banking relationships and workflows.

By automating this invoice and payment process, customers have non-stop visibility into payment and approvals while a dedicated service team with the software provider manages the suppliers and executes payments on their behalf.

Sequentially, some of the key features of this software from the user’s perspective include:

  • logging in to see all pending approvals sitting in their queues
  • accessing the invoices from any device connected to the Internet
  • seeing exact amounts of invoices, how long they’ve been in the queue and who should approve it next
  • once approved, specifying which invoices customers want to pay or payments they want to send and
  • sending payments in the supplier’s preferred payment method. 

Unlike manual AP in which people are heavily involved throughout the process, an AP automation system reduces the need for people to get involved in the process.

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Key Questions to Ask Potential Payment Automation Providers

The ability to truly improve operational efficiency and determine how
much revenue you could generate through incentives from a payment
automation solution hinges on the following questions.

Software Executes Based on Conditions

AP automation software relies on various conditions to execute tasks. Consider this scenario: If your company’s policy has a condition that the CFO must approve any invoice above $1,000, the software can identify that condition and make sure to automatically forward that invoice to the CFO for approval.

In a similar way, if your company has a condition that any invoice below $100 does not have to be approved by anyone other than an AP manager, the software identifies invoices below $100 and routes the invoice for approval only to the AP manager.

Why AP Automation Matters

Automating accounts payable can be pivotal to your business because it eliminates paper, drives consistency in payment processes and helps control cash flow while minimizing spending on AP.

By saving time spent on manual tasks, financial pros can spend more time on more strategic roles. Examples of those are business advisors, financial analysts and internal controls specialists.

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