Reducing human errors in accounts payable (AP)

Accounts payable (AP) plays a critical role in supporting the operations of many enterprises. Primarily, it maintains financial integrity while ensuring timely payments to vendors. However, when utilizing a manual approach, many AP processes invite human error, which may result in delays, discrepancies, and unnecessary costs.

Many are of the opinion that automated accounts payable solutions are the way forward; however, for those who are not yet in a position to take this leap, there is an intermediate step that may be of some use in the short-term.

By implementing strategies for reducing human errors introduced by manual processes, large businesses can streamline their AP operations, improve efficiency, and reduce overall financial risks.

1. Standardize and train on AP processes

Standardizing AP processes, such as invoice approval workflows and payment procedures, helps to eliminate inconsistencies and reduce the likelihood of errors. Regularly training AP staff on standardized procedures, fraud prevention techniques, and error-proofing strategies significantly reduces the likelihood of human error.

2. Implement internal controls

Internal controls, such as segregation of duties, dual approval processes, and regular reconciliations, provide additional layers of protection, reducing human errors. By separating responsibilities and requiring multiple levels of approval, AP departments implement double-checking to minimize the risk of unauthorized transactions or undetected mistakes.

3. Design a system with double-checks

Data validation checks help to identify and prevent errors prior to payment. By verifying invoice amounts against purchase orders, vendor information, and other relevant data sources, businesses can catch discrepancies early on and prevent erroneous payments.

4. Make attention to detail part of your culture

Encouraging a culture of attention to detail throughout the AP department can instil a sense of responsibility and accountability among employees. By emphasizing the importance of accuracy and providing incentives for error-free work, businesses can foster a mindset that prioritizes quality over speed.

5. Implement exception management processes

Clearly defined exception management processes allow errors that are identified to be promptly addressed. A procedure for handling exceptions and discrepancies, such as disagreements between invoices and purchase orders, enables large businesses to minimize delays and prevent errors from escalating into larger issues that soak up time unnecessarily.

6. Perform auditing and quality management

Regular audits of AP processes help identify areas where errors may be occurring. This drives quality management, allowing optimization and improvement. AP processes should be continuously reviewed and improved to adapt to changing business needs and technological advancements while maximizing efficiency and accuracy.

Automated accounts payable with APMatching

Of course, many large businesses already successfully practice at least some of these measures. However, no matter how much effort is expended in designing errors out of a manual accounts payable processing systems, the AP team is still only composed of humans.

The answer is, of course, to invest in technology. A well-designed and built automated accounts payable solution integrates all of the measures above through the use of software.

APMatching automated accounts payable software and services streamlines the entire AP process end-to-end, from invoice capture to payment processing, reducing manual data entry and eliminating the potential for errors caused by human interventions.

Intelligent data extraction capabilities accurately parse key invoice information, minimizing the need for human actions and ensuring data accuracy.

Automated accounts payable further enhance efficiency by sequencing repetitive tasks, such as data entry and validation, freeing up AP staff to focus on more complex tasks and error prevention.

Implementing automated accounts payable with APMatching’s complementary solutions lets enterprises close the loop in AP:

Take a personalized demo with one of our representatives, and we’ll show you how the software eliminates tedious, time-consuming manual invoice processing and automates duplicate invoice detection.

If you like what you see, we’ll give you full support so that you can more fully evaluate APMatching with a Proof of Concept (PoC), demonstrating how effective it is using your own data.