Managing invoices effectively can help businesses save money, and ensure payments are accurate and on time. The cumulative savings can add up quickly and are reflected in the business’s bottom line, so it’s essential to provide accounts payable (AP) teams with the right tools to maximise their accuracy and efficiency.

Many businesses still rely on outdated, paper-based processes. Invoices are received and circulated for sign-off before eventually being paid. During this process, invoices can go lost or get damaged and become unreadable. They may sit on a manager’s desk for too long so that, by the time the invoice is paid, the company has missed out on early-payment discounts.

In organisations where invoice details are keyed into the financial management system, typos can create expensive errors. And the time and resources it takes to manage this process manually could be better deployed elsewhere in the business to help drive growth rather than simply manage processes.

Speed, accuracy, and compliance are the keys to effective AP processes. Unfortunately, many business leaders aren’t aware of how the process can be streamlined and made more effective.

Here are three ways organisations can benefit from an automated accounts payable system:

  1. Workflow visibility

    An automated AP solution delivers improved control. Accounts staff can see the exact status of each invoice, no matter where it is in the workflow, and managers can see how productive the AP process is, identifying bottlenecks and solving issues to ensure payments are optimised.

  2. Automate basic processes

    Re-keying data from paper invoices into AP tools and spreadsheets wastes time and creates opportunities for mistakes, as well as preventing employees from providing more valuable insights and services to the business.

    Swapping a manual process for an automated one can save time and can make a significant impact when it comes to efficiency and productivity, including cutting costs and paying in a timely fashion. This lets organisations leverage discounts for early payments and other payment terms more effectively for even more savings.

  3. Accurate and reliable figures

    An automated solution can also provide organisations with accurate financial reports instantly. Teams can access key data such as purchases, lead time, transaction dates and many other statistics. This leads to more accurate, faster reporting, which, in turn, lets businesses respond to issues sooner and more effectively.

By giving the accounts payable team an automated solution, businesses can improve accuracy and compliance, as well as gain insights into how the business is managing costs. When visibility into accounts payable is limited, organisations simply don’t know how much money could be saved.

The most reliable way to optimise an organisation’s expense management is through automation. This avoids the inevitable mistakes that happen when expenses are managed via spreadsheets or paper-based forms. Automating the invoice management process frees AP teams from the burden of manual labour and lets them focus on ways to save money or increase efficiencies for the business.