The Ultimate AP Automation Solution Checklist
Accounts payable automation is critical to helping businesses navigate difficult times. Learn more with the Ultimate AP Automation Solution Checklist.
Accounts payable automation is critical to helping businesses navigate difficult times.
Automation digitizes and simplifies manual tasks such as supplier management, invoice management and reconciliation, and supplier payment execution, allowing businesses to reduce invoice processing costs and errors, avoid late payments, and free staff to focus more time on higher-value activities.
AP automation software also makes it easy for businesses to scale and adapt their operations.
All this helps position the business for future success and growth.
Routing invoices for approval through email
Many AP departments are leaning harder than ever on email to route invoices for approval, especially while staff work from home. However, routing invoices through email may be creating more issues than it solves.
- Ensure consistent workflows
- Offer visibility into the status of an invoice
- Provide chain of custody assurance
- Ensure separation of duties
- Track all actions taken on an invoice
- Prevent staff (even well-intentioned ones) from inadvertently deleting invoices ahead of schedule.
What to look for in an AP automation solution
Consequently, businesses won’t achieve the full benefits of deploying an AP automation solution without the right software.
Here is the ultimate AP automation solution checklist of what to look for in an invoice automation system.
AP automation solutions include workflow tools that allow for invoice routing based on an organization’s business rules. Improved workflow means faster exceptions resolution and direct posting to an ERP.
The information that flows through accounts payable can be invaluable in assessing the business’s operational performance and financial health. Unlock your data with invoice automation software that offers real-time graphical dashboards, drill-down capabilities, key performance metrics, mobile access, effortless data exports, and business intelligence tools.
Strong supplier management can result in lower operational costs, quicker supplier registration and receipt time, and a lower risk of compliance issues. Take advantage of these benefits with an AP automation solution that digitizes the supplier onboarding process and the collection of necessary data and documents and provides a self-service portal for communicating with suppliers and improving visibility into the process.
Compared to electronic payments, paper checks are costlier, more burdensome to generate, more error-prone, less transparent, and riskier. Leading accounts payable automation solutions streamline payment execution and reconciliation. They support multiple payment methods, uploading a single payment file, and real-time reconciliation. Additionally, businesses can potentially earn cash-back rebates on payments made with cards.
The sudden shift to remote working has disrupted how businesses receive, approve, and post invoices. Remote working has become far more prevalent than ever before, and current trends predict that this trend will continue. It is imperative to deploy a solution that supports remote operations and keeps staff aligned when they can’t meet in person. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions provide 24/7 accessibility and visibility from any location or device.
The sensitive financial data that accounts payable processes is a tempting target for fraudsters. Look for accounts payable automation software that will help securely control your operations, no matter where staff work. Prioritize capabilities such as user permissions, data encryption, and complete audit trails of all actions taken on an invoice.
An AP automation solution is a foundational technology. It should provide the flexibility and agility to help your business meet its short-term operational needs. It should also easily adapt to new business requirements and ever-changing market conditions. Top-tier AP automation providers can understand your current business process and adapt technology and automation to improve that process.
Integration with your ERP
The ERP is the financial nerve center of a business. It doesn’t make sense to deploy an accounts payable automation system that doesn’t integrate seamlessly with your ERP or systems of record. Leading AP automation solutions are agnostic to any system and connect with ERPs such as SAP, Oracle, Sage, and others. This tight integration facilitates direct posting of invoices, eliminates the need to re-key data into the ERP, and provides 360-degree visibility into invoice and supplier information.
OCR for AP
Manually keying data from supplier invoices is one of the most labor-intensive and error-prone tasks in accounts payable. AP automation solutions include optical character recognition (OCR), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and other intelligent technologies. These technologies automatically extract and validate all header and line-item data from invoices with an extremely high degree of accuracy. Some technology providers even guarantee the level of accuracy. Edenred Pay guarantees a data capture accuracy of 99.5%, which far exceeds many other AP solution providers.
Supplier invoice data can be matched against purchase order and proof-of-delivery information in an ERP. This allows accounts payable departments to post many invoices without human operator intervention.
Achieve efficient invoice automation
With the right AP automation software, advertising agencies, media buyers, healthcare organizations, property management firms, and other businesses can streamline invoice approvals while refocusing staff on strategic tasks such as data analysis, forecasting, and vendor master database cleanup.
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.