Solving the problems of AP with an automated accounts payable solution

Accounts payable (AP) is a critical part of any business. It is the process of paying vendors for goods and services that have been received. AP is important because it ensures that businesses are paying their bills on time and in full. It also helps businesses maintain good relationships with their suppliers and partners.

However, AP is often a time-consuming and error-prone process. Manually processing invoices soaks up AP staff time, and it is easy for errors to occur. This can lead to late payments, financial penalties, and damaged business relationships.

To improve the efficiency and accuracy of AP, many businesses are switching to automated accounts payable software. The best automated accounts payable software captures invoices, matches them to purchase orders, and integrates them with payments. This can save businesses time and money and significantly reduces errors.

The benefits of automated accounts payable software

The main headline benefits of automated accounts payable software are:

  • Improved efficiency: An automated accounts payable solution helps businesses save time and money by automating repetitive tasks, such as invoice data entry and matching.
  • Reduced costs – automated accounts payable software enables cost reduction by eliminating the need for manual data entry and the risk of keystroke errors. Through the elimination of such errors, enterprises significantly reduce the potential for consequential costs that often result, including overpayment and the time spent dealing with problems.
  • Increased accuracy: An automated accounts payable solution promotes greater invoice accuracy by matching invoices to purchase orders and by automatically detecting errors. By identifying anomalies between procurement purchase orders and invoices received, enterprise AP teams are able to focus on managing the exceptions that are frequently the source of financial loss. This includes overpayment resulting from invoice duplication, and criminal activity, such as invoice fraud.
  • Compliance: Automated accounts payable software improves the capability of enterprises to meet financial compliance obligations. Such technology generally supports invoice processing in a timely and accurate manner, enabling the satisfaction of the requirements of various international regulatory codes, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and those of national and continental regulators worldwide.

Checklist of essential features of a good automated accounts payable solution

The automated accounts payable software market is competitive. However, not all software is well thought out and developed to the highest technical standards. Similarly, not every vendor places an emphasis on providing high-quality implementation, service and support.

To help enterprises select the most appropriate solution, here’s a checklist of questions for AP leaders and managers to consider when shortlisting potential automated accounts payable solutions and providers.

Product features

☐ What features are included in each automated accounts payable software solution?

☐ Does it include key functionality such as global e-invoicing compliance, PDF data extraction, PO line item matching, non-PO processing and automated posting to any ERP system?

☐ Does the software offer additional features that are likely to be important to you, such as workflow automation, supplier management, or reporting?

Integration capabilities

☐ Does the software integrate with your existing ERP/S2P software and other business systems?

☐ Does the software offer a wide range of integrations, so you can connect it to all of your business systems?

Scalability for growth

Can the software meet the needs of a large business, and can it scale to accommodate future growth?

☐ Does the software offer a pay-as-you-grow pricing model, so you don’t have to pay for features you don’t use?

Cost and ROI

☐ Does the solution fit within your budget constraints?

☐ Do vendors seek to engage and provide a methodology that lets you thoroughly evaluate the potential benefits pre-sales, such as a product tour or personalised demo or perhaps even a Proof of Concept, that allows you to see how it works with your data?

☐ Are there any benchmarks to help determine time to ROI?

Reputation and social proof

☐ Does the software have a good reputation among existing users?

☐ Can you find reviews of the automated accounts payable software from other businesses?

☐ Would the vendor be happy to set up a call for you to talk to an existing customer?

Customer success and support

☐ How good or credible is the customer support offer?

☐ Is there a good knowledge base or similar online learning content resources, such as videos and guides?

☐ Is support available 24/7 and can you judge how responsive and helpful it might be?

For more information on any of these points about automated accounts payable or any others that you might have, simply contact us and we’ll get right back to you.