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Top 5 Reasons to Automate AP

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Automation in business in general, and in the finance space specifically, can be overwhelming to think about — but it offers benefits that forward-thinking firms are happy to take advantage of. Here, we'll go over the top 5 reasons to automate your accounts payable processes. 

There's always room for improvement, there is always some part of the process that could be more efficient. Automation takes those pieces and transforms them into digital steps that improve your team's productivity and give you an edge over your competition. 

Although technology has made Accounts Payable (AP) payment automation a standard for many organizations, 60% of businesses in the United States are not aware of the countless benefits of AP automation.

So, what is automation? What does it mean for your AP team?

Many businesses hear automation and think of self-serve stations taking over human jobs, of robots and machines replacing jobs at an ever-increasing pace. This is a common misconception. A more accurate way of thinking of automation is as a method that simplifies human activities, reduces operational costs, and empowers staff to focus on higher-value tasks. 

Leveraging software applications empowers you to apply the process in a manner that is seamless and effortless.

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Here Are Our Top 5 Reasons To Automate:


  1. Cash Optimization

    Accounts Payable automation allows AP to project its pending cash requirements accurately — eliminating guesswork. With greater transparency in our payment portal, OnPayConnect, visibility into the process allows your AP department to focus on activities and priorities that will affect your department with value add activities.

    Additionally, firms thinking of the future often consider automation a smart strategic investment instead of a costly expenditure. Process automation is a worthy investment that pays dividends down the road in terms of reduced manual processes, minimized paper processes, and lowered maintenance costs. As a bonus for AP automation that also utilizes virtual cards to pay vendors — you open the door to new revenue via cashback. 

  2. Strengthen Internal Controls

    A manual AP process is susceptible to fraud, especially ACH and Wire Transfer Fraud. You increase the risks of human error, late payments, missing invoices, and the dreaded rush invoices.

    Strengthening your internal controls to prevent fraud is more important than ever as fraud has reached new highs in the U.S. with more than 78% of CFOs hit in 2019, according to CFO Daily news. An automated AP process embeds controls that prevent and deter fraud and allow you to rest easy knowing you're safe from invoice and payment fraud.
     
  3. Optimize Visibility

    Transparency is key to a healthy business. This is especially true when it comes to cash flow. The outdated manual processes many AP departments still use suffers from a lack of visibility, which can result in neglecting to recognize a portion of liabilities.

    This can understate expenses and therefore overstate income, which can cause accounting and reporting irregularities and ultimately fraud. AP automation delivers a complete audit trail of every step in the process and allows management to resolve potential problems quickly.

  4. Satisfy Vendors

    Your suppliers and vendors prefer a more efficient payment method. More efficient payments result in discounts and savings for you. When you pay your vendors via virtual card, which is a single issued card for one-time use, you earn monthly cash rebates.

    It’s mutually beneficial for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable. Your vendor and/or suppliers benefit from more efficient, streamlined payments and your AP department pivots to a revenue generator.

  5. Improve Quality

    Avoid error, delay, and unnecessary costs with an automated AP process. AP errors are costly and consume many resources to resolve manually. With payment automation, you can see where, when, and why errors occurred. Unlike the manual process, with automation you’ll be able to systematically address and eliminate errors to improve quality.

There are a lot of AP automation solutions out there to choose from. Check out our free eBook to discover what to look for when you choose one. 

Here at OnPay Solutions, we offer End-to-End AP Automation software that can be used all in one platform and from anywhere at any time. Revolutionize your team's ability to do their job! We transform invoices into a digital workflow and empower you to send payments directly to your vendors.

We even integrate with the vast majority of popular ERPs and accounting systems. Search for your favorite ERP today and find out how our solution works with it. 

Conclusion

AP payment automation can reduce your costs, earn extra revenue, lower the risks of fraud, bring your operations greater transparency, meet your customers’ demands, and improve the overall quality of your AP processes.

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Originally published March 16, 2018. Updated for content and quality on February 11, 2022.