Attention All Controllers: 5 Things Your AP Team Wants You to Know About Your Accounts Payable Process (but are probably too afraid to tell you!)
October 2, 2014
The folks who work in your Accounts Payable Department are an underappreciated bunch we’re sure. You’d like to think that they get your payables paid on time (usually); that they know where in the process, any given invoice is at any moment (hopefully); and that they make sure you get all the discounts to which you’re entitled to maximize your bottom line (sometimes). Let’s face facts: The accounts payable process can be challenging if all you have to work with is a manual, paper-based, Excel-managed payables process. AP people are hard-working folks and they actually screen you higher ups from most of the pain points in accounts payable processing. So, on their behalf, here are a few things they wish you knew:
1) The boring, labour-intensive but necessary parts of their jobs can be automated. AP software — especially accounts payable using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model-is an exciting direction among finance professionals. The reasons are simple: with virtually no capital expenditure, accounts payable automation saves money and time while improving accuracy and accountability in the payables cycle.
2) AP folks usually want up or out. You can’t avoid paying bills, but you can avoid some of the costs associated with staff turnover. Use invoice automation and you can reallocate resources more effectively to higher value activities.
3) Efficiency comes from automation, not from pushing paperwork around. Implement online AP and your company’s efficiency improves exponentially
4) Searching through paper files to find invoices is a complete waste of time! If your accounts payable were automated and online, anyone authorized to do so could pull up any invoice with the click of a mouse. They’d know exactly who’s seen it so far, who hasn’t had it yet, how it connects to the purchase order and the packing slip, and virtually every other detail you might want to know. All you need is Internet access. Finding invoices and backup for auditors is a breeze.
5) Online AP will make your AP staff’s jobs a whole lot less stressful. Invoices are never misfiled, time is never spent wondering where an invoice is, whether or not it came in, when it’s due to be paid to take your discounts, or chasing down approvers. And the system works 24/7.
We like accounts payable people and we think there is a simple way to help them be more efficient, effective and, basically, happier. There is a better way to process invoices, a better way to take advantage of the cloud-based technology that is evolving how you do accounting. And no, your AP person didn’t pay us to tell you. Honestly.
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