Five Things Controllers Need to Know About Accounts Payable in 2022
November 23, 2021
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
There is something your accounts payable team wants you to know: AP is a challenging and often thankless task. Making sure that invoices are paid on time, while simultaneously keeping track of the status of each invoice—and ensuring your business receives all possible discounts—is a tricky job. This is particularly true if your team relies on manual processes. As the controller, your team may try to shield you from the day-in, day-out challenges associated with AP, but it’s to your benefit to peek behind the curtain. Here’s a look at five things your AP team wants you to know.
Nearly 37% of AP teams surveyed in Levvel’s Payables Insight Report stated that they faced issues getting invoices signed off while working remotely in 2020.
Bypass The Bottleneck
As a controller, it might be hard to pinpoint where bottlenecks occur in the AP process. You may not have your hands in it every day, but you need the process to run smoothly and on time.
Invoice exceptions are one of the biggest challenges AP teams face. They slow down the entire process and place a serious drag on your team’s resources. Each mistake requires manual work as your team hunts down the errors to fix them.
Another common issue? Waiting on invoice approvals. Nearly 37% of AP teams surveyed in Levvel’s Payables Insight Report stated that they faced issues getting invoices signed off while working remotely in 2020.
An AP automation solution can help reduce errors, and also streamline the approval process. Through a user-friendly platform, you can view pending invoices, report on how long it takes each user to complete approvals, and even send automated reminders to approvers. Beanworks helps you bypass the bottlenecks and keep work flowing.
Make Money Instead Of Throwing It Away
No one wants to spend too much, but if you’re relying on manual invoice processing, you’re doing just that. High invoice processing costs are one of the main difficulties facing accounts payable teams. The cost of processing a single invoice can be as high as USD $15. Switching to automation can lead to savings of as much as 80%, lowering the cost of processing to USD $5 or less.
By leveraging automated vendor payments with virtual cards, you can even earn money back through rebates.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Manually processing invoices takes up a lot of time, hours that could be spent on higher-value activities for your company. Right now, less than 15% of companies process invoices in under three days. The manual process requires things like scanning each invoice, entering information into a spreadsheet and dealing with paper checks.
Moving these workflows to an automation system allows your team to bypass this grunt work. There’s no reason to make the work harder than it needs to be. AP automation is the solution, allowing you to accomplish more while physically doing less. Even better? The system is available in the cloud 24/7, so you can manage AP from anywhere, not just during office hours.
No matter how good your AP team is, it’s inevitable that errors will occur—and mistakes cost time and money. They may even potentially damage your relationships with vendors and can lead to late fees and interest charges. Errors may occur during data entry or coding, and items may be miscoded or a spreadsheet formula may be broken. Smart solutions, like those offered by Beanworks, protect you from these potential pitfalls in the accounts payable process.
Right now, less than 15% of companies process invoices in under three days. The manual process requires things like scanning each invoice, entering information into a spreadsheet and dealing with paper checks
Features such as Item Capture and SmartCode allow you to automatically code invoices and line items, reducing the opportunity for errors. In addition, the risks associated with manual data entry are eliminated, as Beanworks handles invoice data capture for your team.
Stamp Out Fraud
Everyone knows that the COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses in many ways, but what you may not know is that one of the impacts is an increase in fraud. Online attempts at fraud have increased by as much as 25%. It’s easy to see why. As organizations struggled to adapt to the new reality of doing business, vulnerabilities were exposed in finance processes, and fraudsters were there to take advantage.
Incidents of practices like price gouging have become more common, with 68% of respondents in a recent survey indicating increased incidents of vendor and seller fraud, and 78% stating that they had encountered at least one fraudulent invoice in the past year. If that isn’t startling enough, expense violations were reported to have risen 292% in 2020.
There’s a familiar thread in many of these incidents: an overreliance on manual, paper-based processes. With an uptick in expense claims from remote workers, manual processes become bogged down and it is harder to spot unusual claims. This is compounded if your company is working with a makeshift solution spread out between physical paper invoices, emails, spreadsheets and more. The more extensive and intricate your process, the more opaque it becomes.
An AP automation system provides you with transparency and allows you to set up preventative solutions like multi-step- approvals for all AP processes – including POs, invoices, payments and expense reimbursements.. With information visible through a central dashboard, your team has full visibility, granting greater control and more checks and balances to avoid fraud.
Despite the challenges posed above, there is good news. Transitioning to an AP automation system will provide your team with the tools it needs to run more efficiently and securely, improving the efficiency of your accounting team. To find out more about how Beanworks can impact your accounts payable, schedule a demo today.
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