Top AP Automation Benefits
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Accounts Payable (AP) automation is a tedious but necessary finance function. However, today the entire AP process can be automated. So, what are the top AP automation benefits?

We sat down with Matt Wald, CMO of CoreIntegrator, to discuss the significant impact of AP automation on modern finance departments.

Question: Matt, thank you for joining us today. To kick things off, could you share how you've seen AP processes evolve over the years?

Matt Wald: Absolutely. It's been quite a journey.

Traditionally, AP processes were heavily manual, involving a lot of paper and time-consuming tasks. This often led to errors and inefficiencies.

Many organizations have moved beyond paper. They have set up ad-hoc digitized systems to manage invoices. They email invoices around for approvals, maintain file folders on their computer containing unapproved and approved invoices, and track things the best they can. I’ve seen some really innovative home-grown systems!

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However, as technology evolved, there's been a significant shift. Accounting departments are realizing that there is a LOT more efficiency to be gained by moving towards automated digital workflows that not only speed up processes but also bring a new level of accuracy and efficiency to the whole financial operation.

Q: That sounds like a substantial shift. What do you think has been the driving force behind this change?

Matt Wald: The main driver, I believe, is the need for agility and scalability in finance departments.

As businesses grow, the volume of transactions increases, and the traditional and ad-hoc methods just can't keep up.

There's also a growing recognition that AP automation can offer strategic insights into financial operations, not just operational efficiency.

Q: Can you delve into how PO matching plays a crucial role in this transformation?

Matt Wald: This is a big one. More and more companies are moving to PO purchasing. Which only makes sense: managers should be approving purchases before they are made, not after.

But many organizations feel like they are unable to move to PO purchasing because of the enormous burden of matching POs to invoices when services or products are delivered.

And it’s true: PO matching is a vital component in the accounts payable process. And it’s a LOT of work. It involves the comparison of purchase orders, receipts, and invoices to ensure accuracy and compliance. Done manually, this is an enormously time-consuming and tedious task, often prone to errors.

I mean, imagine going through 3 pages of line items on a PO and trying to match them to 3 pages of lines on an invoice. It’s tough.

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But with CoreIntegrator's Smart Match PO matching AI, we're revolutionizing this process.

Our AI-driven tool automates the three-way matching process, comparing line items across these documents with remarkable accuracy. Our customers report that Smart Matchup matches up to 93% of line items. And for the other 7%, when there is a discrepancy, it highlights it for exception handling.

This not only enhances efficiency but also minimizes the risk of overpayments, undelivered items, or fraud, a critical concern in AP management.

But it’s also the key that unlocks the ability for companies to move to PO purchasing without significantly increasing overhead.

Q: Amazing. But I want to go back to the point you made about strategic insights. Can you delve a bit deeper into how AP automation aids in this?

Matt Wald: Sure. With AP automation, you have real-time access to data. This means you can analyze your financial operations in ways that were not possible before.

You can identify trends, forecast more accurately, and make data-driven decisions. Essentially, it transforms AP from a cost center to a value-added part of the business.

And best of all, your AP team is freed from repetitive and tedious tasks like data entry. They get to spend their days on more strategic tasks like data analysis, vendor relations, and negotiating discounts.

Q: That's a significant transformation. However, implementing a new system can have its challenges. What hurdles do companies typically face when adopting AP automation?

Matt Wald: The challenges are often related to change management. There's the technical aspect of integrating a new system with existing infrastructure.

But more importantly, there's a need to manage the cultural shift. Employees need to be trained and made comfortable with the new system.

It's about ensuring that the technology is user-friendly and that the team understands the benefits it brings. I always say that AP leaders should look for technology that is easy and simple to use. No one wants to have to learn a complicated system. Software companies love to over-design their user interface – but all that does is confuse users.

Q: Speaking of benefits, CoreIntegrator is known for its AP automation solutions. How do these solutions specifically address the challenges you've mentioned?

Matt Wald: CoreIntegrator's solutions are designed with the end-user in mind. They are intuitive, which eases the transition for employees.

Moreover, we focus on providing a holistic solution that integrates seamlessly with existing systems. This minimizes disruption and maximizes efficiency.

But more than that, our goal is to not just provide a tool but to be a partner in our clients' journey towards financial process optimization. We’re very proud to say that every one of our clients is referenceable. Because we won’t rest until each customer is 100% satisfied.

Q: That's a comprehensive approach. Matt, thank you for sharing your insights with us today.

Matt Wald: My pleasure. It's an exciting time for finance departments, and I'm glad to be a part of this transformation.

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AP Automation has a lot of benefits

Top Benefits of AP Automation

We asked Matt to distill the significant benefits of accounts payable automation for businesses. Here is his top ten list:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: AP Automation streamlines the entire accounts payable process. It minimizes manual data entry and tasks, reducing the time spent on invoice processing. This efficiency translates into faster invoice processing, quicker approvals, and reduced processing costs, enabling teams to focus on more strategic tasks and reducing the time spent on manual processes in the company.
  • Improved Accuracy: With automation, the risk of human error is significantly reduced. Automated systems like CoreIntegrator's A/P One ensure precision in data entry and invoice processing, which means fewer mistakes and less time spent on corrections. It also helps to reducing the chances of duplicate payments.
  • Better Financial Control and Visibility: AP Automation provides real-time insights into financial data. Businesses gain better control over cash flow management, as they can easily track outstanding invoices and payments, and make informed financial decisions.
  • Enhanced Compliance and Security: Automation tools ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and internal policies. The digital trail created by an automated system offers greater transparency and audit trails, reducing the risk of fraud.
  • Cost Savings: By reducing manual tasks, AP Automation reduces labor costs. It also helps businesses avoid late payment penalties and take advantage of early payment discounts, thereby saving money.
  • Vendor Relationships Improvement: Timely payments and efficient communication, facilitated by AP automation, contribute to building stronger relationships with vendors. This can lead to better terms and cooperation.
  • Scalability: As a business grows, its financial operations become more complex. AP automation systems can easily scale to handle increased volumes without the need to proportionally increase staff.
  • Integration with Existing Systems: AP Automation solutions like CoreIntegrator's A/P One can seamlessly integrate with existing ERP systems, ensuring a unified approach to managing financial operations.
  • Environmental Impact: By digitizing the Accounts Payable automation process, companies reduce their reliance on paper invoices, contributing to environmental sustainability.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Automating tedious tasks not only frees up time for more engaging work but also reduces employee frustration, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

AP Automation is not just about replacing a paper-based process with a digital one; it’s about transforming the AP function into a strategic component of the business that drives efficiency, cost savings, and better financial decision-making.

With solutions like CoreIntegrator's A/P One, businesses are well-equipped to remain agile, compliant, and ahead of the curve.

Click here and find out about the useful AP Automation Best Practices!

When thinking about AP Automation, the benefits are a key factor
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FAQ: AP Automation Benefits

AP automation reduces human errors by automating data entry and invoice matching. The software can validate details, match invoices with purchase orders and receipts, and flag discrepancies, ensuring payments are accurate and compliant with company policies.

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