AP Automation

Thinking of Automating? The Barriers Aren’t As Big As You Think

April 26, 2022

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Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

A recent survey revealed that the shift to digital business interactions has increased dramatically over the past two years. It makes sense. After all, the shift to automated accounts payable is more efficient and less expensive. So, why exactly do paper checks still account for 40% of B2B payments?

There are a few common questions that companies have about potential barriers to digital transactions, but a closer look reveals that they aren’t the hurdles they are perceived to be.

Will It Provide Access to the Necessary Data?

In the past, one of the most significant challenges facing companies was a practical one: they needed the remittance information issued with paper checks. This data is a required component of many accounting and auditing processes. In AFP’s payments, survey,  74% of businesses indicated that a lack of a standard remittance format was a concern that kept them from digitization.

However, Beanworks allows customers to send remittance e-mails to vendors automatically, eliminating this issue. These messages are sent with every payment made and contain the invoice number, date, memo, payment currency, and total.

Does It Work With Existing Systems?

The same AFP survey found that 71% of organizations viewed lack of integrations to be a concern that keeps them from adopting electronic payments.

Accounting software or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are often a substantial investment, and many organizations are hesitant to adopt automation out of concern that it will either fail to work with their existing solutions or render them obsolete

However, using Beanworks negates this, as the software integrates with a wide variety of ERP solutions, including Intuit Quickbooks, Sage Intacct, Oracle Netsuite, Rent Manager, and Microsoft Dynamics GP, among others.

Not only does it integrate with these solutions, but it dramatically improves them, reducing the time AP teams spend on the busy work involved in the process. Because it works with your existing accounting solutions, there is less time spent manually transferring data from one system to another.

Teams that embrace AP automation see an 83% decrease in data entry.

It also improves information integrity. The system integration and lack of manual data entry eliminate the probability of errors, providing a 99% accuracy rate.

Is It Safe?

Organizations currently lose 5% of their annual revenue to fraud.

Some businesses may be hesitant to move to a cloud-based automation service out of concern that it will increase the likelihood of security breaches. In actuality, the end-to-end visibility of the AP process provided through solutions like Beanworks greatly decreases this threat.

When organizations are working from multiple, isolated systems, it’s easy for data silos to spring up, making it difficult to spot irregularities. In addition to being time-consuming, it can become a struggle to notice duplicate or fraudulent documents when companies are manually matching invoices. By providing clear audit trails, and customized controls over approvals and payments, companies can protect themselves from both internal fraud and external scams.

What About the Cost?

A study by PYMNTS found that ¾ of CFOs view economic uncertainty as a substantial challenge. With that in mind, it’s natural to ask if the cost of adopting a new solution is one that makes sense.

As opposed to being an added expense, the digitization of accounts payable is actually an investment that lowers expenses, helps better manage cash flow, and improves financial security. Manual AP can cost as much as £35 per invoice, a rate that drops to less than £5 with automation. By providing oversight of the AP process, solutions like Beanworks also help ensure that companies aren’t paying too early–in the interest of keeping cash in their pocket as long as possible–but also aren’t paying late and incurring fees and penalties.

A quick look at Beanworks’ ROI Calculator can provide an idea of just how much a company can benefit from digitization.

The benefits of adopting AP automation are clear–saving time, and money, and providing protection from fraud.

To learn more about how to make an effective business case for digitization, sign up for Beanworks’ webinar today

 


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