The Accounts Payable (AP) process is an essential part of managing finances in accounting firms. However, manually handling AP processes can be time-consuming, error-prone and costly. That’s where Accounts Payable automation comes in.
Using technology to streamline the Accounts Payable process will result in faster payments, fewer errors, and improved vendor relationships. In this article, we will learn what Accounts Payable automation is, explore its benefits for accounting firms, and suggest the best software options.
What is Accounts Payable Automation?
Accounts Payable automation refers to using technology to streamline the process of managing and paying invoices. The AP process involves receiving invoices from vendors, verifying them against purchase orders or contracts, approving them for payment, and then scheduling and making payments.
This procedure can be time-consuming and error-prone if done manually. However, with automation, AP functions can be streamlined, resulting in faster payments, fewer errors, and improved vendor relationships.
AP automation software can automate tasks such as invoice scanning and data entry, approval routing and payment scheduling. By doing so, it reduces the need for manual intervention, freeing up accounting staff to focus on more important tasks.
This technology can also provide real-time visibility into the status of invoices and payments, making it easier to manage cash flow and improve financial planning. Overall, AP Automation is an essential tool for accounting firms to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Benefits of Accounts Payable (AP) Automation for Accounting Firms
Accounts Payable automation offers a multitude of benefits to accounting firms, including:
Improved efficiency and productivity
Manual data entry and other time-consuming tasks can be eliminated with Accounts Payable automation, enabling accounting teams to focus on higher-value tasks. That can lead to increased productivity and faster turnaround times.
Automation reduces the need for manual data entry, printing and mailing, which can result in significant cost savings. Additionally, digitisation can help firms avoid late payment fees and take advantage of early payment discounts.
Enhanced vendor relationships
With automation, firms can have greater visibility of the Accounts Payable process, improve communication with vendors and ensure punctual payments. As a result, they will build stronger relationships with vendors that can lead to better pricing and payment terms.
Reduced errors and fraud
Reduce errors and fraud with Accounts Payable automation by automatically verifying and validating invoice data and ensuring that payments are only made to approved vendors.
Increased accuracy and accountability
AP automation software maintains an electronic record of all invoices and payments, providing greater accuracy and accountability. This can also help accounting firms comply with regulatory requirements.
Better cash flow management
As mentioned before, AP Automation provides firms with greater visibility over their Accounts Payable processes, which helps them to better manage their cash flow, optimise payment timing and make more informed financial decisions.
Best Software for Accounts Payable Automation
There are many software options available for Accounts Payable Automation. Here is an overview of some of the top software options:
QuickBooks is a widely used accounting software which offers users automated data entry and invoice processing, automatic payment schedulingand customisable approval workflows.
Bill.com is a cloud-based platform that provides end-to-end Accounts Payable automation. Its features include automated invoice capture and data extraction, customisable approval workflows, and online payment processing.
Xero is another popular accounting software that helps businesses embrace AP automation.. Features include automated invoice capture and data entry, customisable approval workflows, and automated payment processing.
Tipalti is an all-in-one Accounts Payable automation platform that provides automated invoice capture and processing, approval workflows, and global payment capabilities. It also offers compliance features to ensure regulatory compliance.
Learn more about accounting trends with INAA
Accounts Payable Automation is a strategic move that can improve an accounting firms operations and help them stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the current trends within the accounting industry, be sure to take a look at what the INAA can do for you. You can discover the benefits of INAA membership here, or apply for your membership on our join us page.