The way enterprises view their accounts payable (AP) departments is changing rapidly with the development and implementation of newer tools like robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.
And, as AP automation has become increasingly popular, there has never been a better time to establish a business case for it. Here are just a few of the benefits of automating your accounts payable.
Typical accounts payable departments are siloed, buried under paper, slow, and disconnected from the rest of the business. Often, AP must wait for handoffs from other stakeholders before processing reams of paper invoices across multiple suppliers.
With AP automation, every stakeholder has transparency into the AP process and can submit invoices through a centralized hub where suppliers can manage payments more easily, quickly, and accurately. Digitization and automation allow for more early payments, better collaboration with suppliers and procurement, and one centralized hub for a clear view of financial information and analytics.
AP automation gives accounts payable teams what they need to act and plan proactively instead of when their action is necessary. Time is money, there is no way around it, so when AP teams are able to prepare and act more strategically, it benefits everyone in the organization and the bottom line.
By implementing AP automation, you can reduce simple, easily automated work that’s currently taking up your AP team's time and enable them to refocus on more meaningful work like account reconciliation, supplier relationship management, and other tasks that demand human attention.
When you take time-consuming, repetitive tasks off their plate, they have more bandwidth to tackle strategic projects that will bring your business more value. AP automation creates an opportunity unthinkable by generations of AP processes past, the ability to refocus your AP team and gain back valuable time. Instead of spending hours entering and reentering data, AP automation takes the lead and enables teams to focus on the hands-on elements demanding their attention.
Best-in-class AP teams realize the importance of a positive departmental image and adopt a mentality of collaboration with both suppliers and internal stakeholders. While that may not sound like a traditional AP department, increased automation can set up a stronger, more strategic relationship between procurement and finance that will benefit the organization.
By leveraging AP automation, you can create a singular platform for suppliers. Tradeshift’s optimized AP dashboard allows for faster communication which means issues can be resolved quickly and efficiently rather than dragging on for months. Suppliers will come to see you as a strategic partner rather than just a drain on their time and resources.
The importance of strong supplier relationships cannot be overstated and for good reason. Establishing and maintaining strong relationships among suppliers doesn’t just make interactions more pleasant and processes more efficient; it creates a strong case for loyalty. Good suppliers are hard to find, and once you’ve secured them, you want to do everything in your power to keep them happy with the partnership.
Most companies still have to process archaic paper invoices in order to do business with buyers and sellers. Paper in your supply chain leads to bottlenecks, missing invoices, pointless data entry, and difficulty in locating receipts.
Automatic digital payments help you manage your books and make payments when it’s best for your business — with fewer errors and no paper to file. And, when you go digital, you can rest assured that every payment is correct to the last penny and every supplier is getting paid on time through a simple, easy-to-audit process.
Best-in-class teams are 52% more likely to standardize AP processes across the company. It sounds basic, but many departments still struggle to manage a standard format for accepting and paying invoices.
Whether that’s because the process is paper-based, outdated, or efficient, the outcomes are the same: lost efficiency and bottlenecks. That’s why best-in-class teams recognize the necessity of repeatable processes and use a digital platform to help create them. The use of AP automation allows you to streamline your AP processes in the way that makes the most sense for you and your organization.
Plus, having AP automation in place can make the audit process much less daunting. Instead of scrambling to find all the right pieces of paper, your information is stored in one place that your entire team can access at any time.
The case for digitizing supply chains and adopting AP Automation has never been stronger. The positive outcomes aren’t just limited to your AP team but can span across your entire organization, including suppliers and stakeholders.
Automate AP and go paperless and touchless for the whole order-to-pay cycle. Find out how Tradeshift Pay can work for you by scheduling a demo today.