The ‘Big Picture’ Benefits of Accounts Payable Automation
Businesses that prioritize invoice automation gain huge benefits and unlock cost savings that were previously hidden.
Accounts payable is the financial nerve center of a business.
It has a big impact on cash flow, spending, compliance, risk mitigation, and operational efficiency.
Yet many businesses still rely on outdated invoice processes that cost too much, take too long, create too many errors, provide too little visibility and do not integrate with downstream systems.
In short, these businesses are not operating at peak efficiency or effectiveness.
Ardent Partner’s 2019 State of ePayables Report found a massive gulf between businesses with highly automated accounts payable processes and those with antiquated ones.
It costs departments with little or no automation significantly more to process a single invoice compared to top performers with highly automated processes, Ardent Partners found.
But businesses with little or no invoice-to-pay automation also experience more errors, slower invoice approval cycle times, and fewer early payment discounts captured.
Not surprisingly, inefficient processes – such as manual intervention to correct exceptions – were the most common invoice processing stumbling block, according to Ardent Partners. Importantly, the skill level of employees has little to do with the difference between top performers and also-rans.
Invoice automation is the key differentiator in achieving best-in-class results.
Data from the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) agrees that businesses that prioritize accounts payable automation reap huge rewards and unlock cost savings that were previously hidden.
But cost savings are just the tip of the iceberg.
Invoice automation delivers significant enterprise benefits as well:
- Enhanced supplier relationships
- Better contract compliance and spend visibility
- Working capital optimization
- More opportunities to capture early-payment discounts
- Streamlined compliance, control, and security, no matter where employees work
- Faster auditing, tax reporting and financial close processes
These are the types of benefits a corporate enterprise needs in tough economic times.
But do not expect to achieve these benefits with just any invoice automation solution.
Look for cloud-based solutions that combine:
- A digital mailroom that aggregates all paper and electronic invoices onto one platform
- Intelligent data capture and validation of invoice data and matching of invoices and POs
- Smart workflows that keep processes moving securely when employees Work from Home
- Seamless integration with any legacy ERP platform for faster uploads and better visibility
- An online portal for suppliers to submit electronic invoices, check invoice status, and more
These capabilities provide benefits that go beyond accounts payable and span the enterprise.
Edenred Pay, an Edenred Company, is the global leader in invoice-to-pay automation. Our integrated platform connects businesses with suppliers, ERPs, banks, FinTechs, and payment rails to automate, optimize, and monetize the entire B2B payments lifecycle – from invoice receipt through payment reconciliation. Edenred Pay’s efficient, integrated solutions create a frictionless process and help deliver value to the enterprise by enhancing visibility and monetizing AP.