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8 Benefits of Accounts Payable Workflow Automation: The Bean Counter’s Dream Come True

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Bean counters—some of our favorite folks, as you might imagine—are control freaks. Accountants, CFOs, and controllers naturally want to know where every penny, every asset, every obligation owed, and every receivable due stands at any given moment in time. It’s their job. It’s what we want them to do, expect them to do, and need them to do to keep our businesses healthy and profitable. So, it stands to reason that anything that gives them more control, such as accounts payable (AP) automation software, is a good thing. Here’s why:

1. Time Savings

Using business process automation to manage accounts payable reduces the time needed to process an invoice. Payables are routed according to prescribed business processes you determine, automatically and instantaneously. Implementing an AP automation system means no one in your organization will ever have to spend another second searching for an invoice or hunting down where it is in the approvals process. There will never again be another “misplaced” invoice once you implement AP automation software.

2. Money Savings

Automate your accounts payable process and you will never mistakenly pay an invoice twice or overpay an invoice. You also will never be in danger of making late payments if a staff member overlooks a due date on an invoice. Instead, an AP automation system will alert you to duplicates, overpayments, and remind you all of pending due dates.

3. Collaboration

Invoice systems allow as many people as necessary to collaborate on any particular payable in real time. No matter where they are, everyone with an interest or stake in an invoice can simultaneously access it to confirm or dispute charges, seek clarification, or explain discrepancies—all with just the click of a mouse.

4. Follow The Money

Electronic invoicing systems really shine when it’s time for an audit. The electronic audit trails available through invoice software make tracking an invoice from receipt to payment a breeze.  Accounts payable fraud detection is also easier with an automated system.

5. Personalized Process

Using an invoice system, you customize the accounts payable workflow to suit your company’s needs exactly. Route invoices above a prescribed amount to those with the proper authorization, create and maintain approval timers, balance AP staff workloads, and cross-check and validate payables against your own accounting system tables.

6. Holding the Line On Headcount

There’s little controllers dislike more than adding headcount, especially to their department. Invoice automation software increases staff productivity dramatically, letting the same staff handle an increasing volume of payables and reducing the need to add staff for as long as possible.

7. Cloud-Based Accounts Payable

Using a SaaS model means there is no software to install, no hardware needed to install it on, and no IT required to maintain it. It also means predictable IT costs for your AP system; no surprises around system failures that need replacing, no consultants, no upgrades, no time patching holes that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

8. Controlling Interest In AP Invoices

An automated accounts payable system provides a sense of control that can never be achieved with paper-based invoices. Instantly, the invoice system lets you know where every invoice is, how productive the people managing them are, and virtually everything else a control freak might possibly want to know about their payables. From no idea to complete control may be the one thing controllers can’t put a value on, but far be it for us to stop them from trying.

Beanworks is a cloud-based, accounts payable automation solution. We help companies streamline their invoice-to-payment strategies by eliminating paperwork and reduce invoice processing costs by at least 50% – guaranteed. Schedule a demo with us today to find out more.

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Photo source: / Carl Heyerdahl

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