Automate accounts payable

9 Reasons to Automate Your Accounts Payable Process

Automating accounts payable in your organization will save you time and money, improve your internal processes and make your managers and employees happier.

You’ll even help save the environment!

Here are 9 reasons why you should be automating your accounts payable process.

1. Save Money and Time

Save time and money
Saving time and money

Automating your accounts payable process will save your organization time and money. That’s a given.

We explain how and exactly how much in our article about invoice processing.

And it means automating accounts payable will pay for itself!

Because of this, your organization will see benefits from implementing AP automation far beyond making your organization more profitable.

2. AP Automation Makes Invoice Approvals Easy for Managers and Department Leaders

Manager approval process
Easy approvals for managers

Invoice approvers tend to be very busy people with tight schedules. They’re leaders, managers, salespeople and executives.

These are busy staff, doing their job of selling products, managing people or delivering results. Often doing so while traveling or working remotely.

And while every invoice approver wants to manage their budget and expenses by reviewing invoices before they are paid, no manager or executive wants to waste time or energy on that task.

With AP automation they won’t have to.

CoreIntegrator smart AP automation makes invoice approvals simple for approvers. They will be able to see an image of actual invoices from anywhere in the world and approve them with a single click.

It also gives approvers immediate insight into an invoice status for those awkward moments when managers, salespeople or executives are talking to impatient vendors who want to know when they will get paid.

Implementing AP automation software makes your entire approval process more efficient. And in doing so you relieve accounting employees from monotonous tasks and free them to use their skills in more productive ways.

And you make invoice approvers happier by letting them see and improve invoices from anywhere in the world and with a single click!

3. AP Automation Will Improve Accuracy

Manual process
Say good bye to manual processes

Manual processes are inherently inefficient and prone to mistakes.

When humans manually enter invoice information your data accuracy, reliability and integrity become questionable elements in your AP process. Even the most diligent AP specialist sometimes makes ‘fat finger’ data entry mistakes. The wrong digit or a misplaced comma can throw everything off.

That’s why manual processes include the constant need to double-check figures. But that’s still relying on one human to double-check another human’s work.

Human error is a constant threat in manual procedures. In fact, the Institute of Finance and Management reports that about 3.6% of supplier invoices generated in manual processes include errors. That’s an unacceptably high rate of errors.

And supplier and vendors get justifiably upset when they are not paid the correct amount!

Accounts payable automation is an effective way to eliminate the chance of human errors from your AP process.

And AP automation will spot mistakes and correct them without much human intervention.

Due to this, your accounting and finance team can run reports that match invoices with POs and make triple sure that your AP is error-free.

Accounts payable automation software also lets you feed all invoice data in a defined process.

So even if you have different teams entering invoices into your automated system, they all follow the same steps.

This means a clear and streamlined payments, consistency in your AP process, and a flawless process for your finance team and accountants.

Automate your accounts payable process to significantly improve your payment accuracy.

4. AP Automation Allows You to Earn Early Payment Discounts and Avoid Late Payment Penalties

AP automation save on late fees
No more late fees

Do you and your accounting team look at ‘2% 10, net 30’ payment terms and wish you could take advantage of early payment discounts?

Smart AP automation makes that possible.

Manual data invoice data entry and invoice approval processes are slow and inefficient. If you don’t automate them you’ll never be able to take advantage of discounted early payment terms.

And, worse, you may find yourself making late payment penalties. This hurts your bottom line, creates stress and uncertainty for your vendors and suppliers and gives your organization a bad reputation.

Automating your accounts payable process will accelerate the invoice data entry and approval cycle time significantly. So much so that your organization can regularly qualify for vendor discounts for early payment!

And you’ll never pay a late fee again!

So AP automation software not only saves your company overhead by making your processes more efficient, it makes your employees happier, and will make you eligible for discount payment terms too.

5. Improve Cash Flow Management Through AP Automation

Cash flow management
Improved cash flow management

Decision makers need the right information at their fingertips.

This allows them to make informed cash flow decisions.

AP automation software like CoreIntegrator Workflow gives your management and accounting team better command over cash flow, providing opportunities to positively manage cash to your organization’s advantage.

You’ll be able to see the where your invoices are at any point in the process.

Our software makes it easy to create monthly, quarterly or half-year reports. These can be created and printed in almost real time.

You’ll be able to use AP automation to determine where money-saving opportunities exist and take advantage of them through invoice payment prioritization.

Going back to the idea of taking advantage of early payment discounts, you may find a vendor who offers a 2% early payment discount that you are missing out on each month.

Yet you consistently pay another vendor two weeks early but get no early payment discount for doing so. AP automation simplifies invoice payment prioritization so you can adjust the payment schedule and capitalize on the early payment discount.

Automating accounts payable also gives your accounting team tools for improved visibility and forecasting.

As invoices go through the system, it tracks every change and event and stores the information in a database. You can access these records in real-time, and the easily-searchable database puts all the information needed to monitor cash flow and plan for future purchases right at your fingertips.

6. AP Automation Provides Legal and Audit Compliance

Manual Invoice
Legal and audit compliance

These same AP automation tracking and reporting features that improve cash flow management mean that automating your accounts payable processes create detailed audit trails, flexible security models and approval histories.

So with AP automation software your audits will be far less time-consuming and, presumably, cheaper.

Governments around the country and the world are digitally transforming their tax-reporting and financial processes. Meanwhile, state and federal regulations place additional requirements on record retention and storage.

But with AP automation, auditors will have access to all of your AP data at their fingertips without having to dig through paper files, look at approval initials on pieces of paper or search for lost documents.

So not only will audits be smoother, it will be easier to maintain compliance with state and federal regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).

7. AP Automation Improves Security and Protects Against Fraud

Automating accounts payable adds security
More secure processes

Scams and embezzlement can cost your company money and embarrassment.

Automating your accounts payable process can eliminate paper checks. And payments without proper approval will never happen again.

AP automation solutions like CoreIntegrator include extensive verification protocols to ensure that all invoices are correct and proper.

It highlights unknown suppliers and sends alerts to appropriate managers about possible fraudulent activity. With invoice controls, the double-paying of invoices is eliminated.

And if fraud should occur, AP automation will tell you what happened, how it happened, and who was behind it.

AP automation gives you deep insight into who authorized payments and what types of verification steps they went through before the approval was given.

Therefore, if fraud happens, AP automation gives you a clear picture of who is responsible.

8. Automating AP Processes Saves the Environment

Automating accounts payable saves the environment
Saving the planet

Automating your accounts payable processes gives your organization the opportunity to go paperless.

This means by automating accounts payable your organization is going green and saving the environment!

And using less paper mans reducing physical paper storage requirements, freeing up storage area or even eliminating overhead costs.

At CoreIntegrator, we are so passionate about the environmental benefits of AP automation that we plant a tree in the name of each new CoreIntegrator customer.

9. AP Automation Enables Continuous Workflow Improvement

Automating accounts payable equals better workflow management
Better workflow management

Automating AP processing will generate data from all of the steps in your AP process.

This allows you to use this data to analyze your process, identify bottlenecks – either in the process or with individuals – and take corrective action.

At CoreIntegrator, we bring 20 years of experience working with companies big and small to not just automate their AP department, but to help our customers implement AP processing best practices beyond automation.

Because of this, we’ve learned how great companies run their accounting and especially AP processing. And we love to share those best practices with our customers!

Bottom Line – 9 Reasons to Automate Your Accounts Payable Process Beyond Saving Money

Saving money is great. And automating your accounts payable process will achieve that goal.

But there are so many more reasons to implement AP automation – from employee morale to tax compliance and audit compliance to saving paper and the environment.

It’s also a critical part of any digital transformation focused on becoming a data-driven organization.

About CoreIntetgrator

CoreIntegrator Workflow is a 3rd-generation of the CoreIntegrator family of products. With 20 years of development behind it, CoreIntegrator Workflow provides the industry’s most cutting-edge and easy-to-use workflow application.

As an enterprise-level application, CoreIntegrator Workflow allows you to automate most—if not all—of your repetitive, costly and time-consuming business processes.

Smaller business? Not a problem! Our full cloud based subscription server, A/P One is a turnkey solution for lower-volume invoice organizations.

A/P One
A/P One

A/P One handles all four kinds of workflows or any combination of them:

  • Manual routing – Approvers/actors are picked on the fly by the previous actor.
  • Ad hoc workflow – The entire approval path for the workflow is decided at runtime.
  • Rules-based workflow – Business logic and rules are built directly into the workflow.
  • Advanced workflow automation – Workflows respond to events, schedules, system updates, or practically anything else.

Using direct integration into your organization’s Active Directory Services and an intuitive and simple-to-use interface consisting of only two primary pages (the CoreIntegrator Homepage and the CoreIntegrator Workspace), user training times are kept to a minimum.

“CoreIntegrator Workflow has been able
to meet our diverse needs in the most
efficient and effective way . . .”

~ Michelle Beall, Payables and Corporate Operations
Manager at Nexion Health