“What’s the status of that invoice?” asks your boss. “Umm…let me get that for you,” you respond as you begin the painful process of fumbling through a large paper and email trail. Sound familiar?
As your company grows, you’ll likely outgrow outdated financial processes. The accounts payable cycle is one area where this is common. Luckily, modern AP automation technology is helping businesses save time and improve their processes. If you have a large volume inflow of AP invoices and are ready to ditch manual processes to save time and increase internal controls, AP automation might be for you.
In this article, I’m going to help you explore the potential benefits of accounts payable automation and what solution might be the best fit for your business. First, let’s compare two scenarios: accounts payable with and without automation.
Outdated Accounts Payable Workflow
You receive a paper invoice, add it to the stack on your desk, and set them aside. When you have a moment, you manually enter the invoice information into your system. You send the invoice to the person tasked with approvals via email. He or she signs off on the invoice when it’s convenient as you wait for the approval. You do your best to stay organized, but it’s easy to lose track during this waiting process.
Modern AP Automation Workflow
Your third party AP automation solution provides you with a dedicated email to track all accounts payable activities. A new invoice arrives in your inbox. OCR (optical character recognition) technology takes an image of the invoice and pulls the information into your accounting system. From there, the invoice will automatically transfer to the employee tasked with approving the invoice. Once it’s approved, just a few clicks allow you to schedule a payment.
With AP automation, all journal entries are automatically integrated into your accounting system, giving you real-time visibility into all transactions. This gives you time back in your day that you would have spent stuffing envelopes, writing checks, purchasing stamps, and more.
Here are a few additional benefits of AP automation:
- Accounts payable automation can free up your finance team and save your company hundreds of hours per year. Depending on the size of your company, this could mean streamlining your AP staff or even offloading the task to an accounting manager. AP automation gives your finance team more time to focus on high-value tasks.
Higher Level of Accuracy:
- With outdated accounts payable workflows, there is a high chance of misplaced invoices and duplicate entries. AP automation prevents this from ever happening and can save you the headache of year-end or monthly reclassifications.
Real-Time Access to AP Data:
- AP automation gives you better visibility into the status of your invoices and POs. It allows your business to easily track where an invoice is in the accounts payable process.
Ready for AP Automation? You Have Options
There are many options out there on the market today for businesses who are ready to evolve their accounts payable processes. If you’re using Sage Intacct, you can opt for Sage Intacct Accounts Payable. This accounts payable automation is designed to help you save time and improve control. Of course, the system has its limitations. If you need to set advanced approval workflows, such as approvals between locations, you may need to explore third-party solutions.
If Sage Intacct Accounts Payable doesn’t meet your business needs, there are plenty of third-party AP automation solutions on the Sage Intacct marketplace. Each comes with a unique set of features and benefits designed to address your unique accounts payable needs.
- ● Paramount
- ● Bill.com
- ● Coupa
- ● Stampli
- ● MineralTree
- ● Yooz
- ● Uplevl
- ● PaperSave
- ● Avid/Ariett
Need help identifying the best AP automation solution for your growing business?
Our knowledgeable team at RSM can help. Let’s schedule a quick call this week to determine what solutions will work best for you.