Accounts Payable (AP) tasks can be monotonous and dull, but every element of the process carries an inherent risk of fraud. This makes it a perfect branch of accounting where automation can work its wonders and help you grow your accounting firm.
When considering the manual AP workflow, the expected steps are manually entering the received invoices data. The data is then sent for approval which is verified manually, after which a check is cut to the vendors. However, when it comes to automated AP workflow, it is faster and more accurate.
The system will automate the invoice data entry, match the data, catch exceptions, re-route it to relevant departments, send it for approvals, and automatically process payment. Automated AP workflow can help every accounting firm improve its invoicing process by leaps and bounds.
Here are five ways Accounts Payable Workflow Automation can benefit your accounting firm:
No More Data Entry Errors
Data entry errors have to be the biggest problem plaguing the AP process. From entering the details of the invoice to setting it up approval and processing it for payment, each step of the Accounts Payable workflow involves data entry which means every step carries its own risk. Even in the event of errors, rectification will cost time, money, and resources. This makes data entry errors notorious when it comes to Accounts Payable.
Automated Accounts Payable comes with advanced OCR technology that directly scans the invoice and automates data entry. The matching and verification step is also automated, eliminating possible data entry errors.
Improved Accuracy and Reduced Cost:
Improved accuracy of the invoice process in itself saves a lot of money that is usually spent in terms of work hours for data entry and verification.
Having an automated process also reduces the number of steps involved in the AP process, and this saves a lot of cost and time spent on manual tasks. Add this to the storage and print costs of the manual process and early payment discounts that the accounting department can carry, and automated AP workflow is a real money saver for any accounting firm.
Streamlined Process and Improved Insight:
With automation, every step of the AP process is streamlined for improved efficiency. Accounting firms no longer have to run behind scattered invoices are spend loads of time knowing the status of the invoices.
One platform that centralizes all the invoice and payment information makes it easy to track the status at a glance. With the dashboards provided, every step in the journey of the invoice is shown to make necessary real-time tweaks and optimization in case of delays.
Faster AP Cycle Times:
Automated AP conveniently mitigates all the time-consuming and tedious steps involved in invoice processing – data entry, matching, verification validation, approvals, and ERP posting. Over time, slow invoice processing costs more resources and creates processing bottlenecks, leading to payment penalties and strained relationships with vendors.
Automated AP workflow helps an accounting firm speed up their invoice processing leading to faster cycle times, giving an ample chance to score early payment discounts and, more importantly, greater control over their cash flow cycle.
Accounts Payable is one of the most vulnerable accounting branches regarding financial fraud. According to AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, an estimated 81% of the businesses are impacted by payment fraud. With so many steps involved in manual AP, fraud increases multifold, especially with a high volume of invoices.
Automating AP workflow provides greater control and visibility over the entire process. Automation also enables customizing the control by separating the duties concerning invoice approvals and payment processing. With centralized process and de-centralized control, automated AP also help in building multiple approval workflows that sort of eliminate the risk of fraud when perfectly implemented.
Despite the benefits, an accounting firm may not be in a position to leverage AP workflow automation due to either lack of expertise, resources, infrastructure, or budget. However, if you are one of them, the simplest way you can benefit from Account Payable automation is to outsource your Accounts Payable Services to remote accounting firms like Accountroots. Book a call with us and start your outsourced accounting journey today!