Benefits of Workflow Automation in the Accounts Payable Department

If your Accounts Payable department is still on a paper system, chances are your workflow could be optimized. Automating the AP process is one of the first steps in improving overall company efficiency. It’s also the best way to ensure invoice accuracy, so your business can account for every dollar spent.

When it comes to workflow automation, there are numerous benefits. From reduced paper costs to an increase in employee productivity, let’s explore the advantages of implementing this type of system.

  1. Enhanced invoice accuracy

    Depending on the size of your company, your Accounts Payable department is likely receiving dozens of invoices per week. Whether these bills are for utilities, service calls or maintenance repairs, your business is being asked to hand over large sums of money for jobs rendered. It’s crucial to ensure invoice accuracy so you’re not accidentally overpaying. Accounting mistakes happen because staff mix up the numbers or make errors during data entry. But companies who automate their processes are less likely to encounter a human error. By using state-of-the-art automation software, your AP department could save thousands of dollars in costly mistakes.

  2. Reduced paper waste

    Another benefit of AP workflow automation is the reduction of paper waste. Digitization is a key component of this process. Under an automated system, all incoming invoices are converted to digital using optical character recognition software. Your employees can then view, sort and file the invoice digitally, saving valuable time and office space.

    People tend to work faster and more accurately in a clutter-free zone. That’s because employees no longer need to waste energy manually sifting through documents. They can use this extra brain power and the time they save for more important tasks instead.

  3. Leaner workforce

    Save money on human capital by letting technology handle the work of multiple employees. With an automated AP department, you’ll no longer need an army of workers processing stacks of invoices. That’s because once an invoice is in digital format, it enters your electronic system for automated routing. Here’s what the system will do:

    • Check invoice data to see if it’s associated with a purchase order
    • If all data corresponds correctly, the invoice is automatically pushed to the next step for payment processing
    • If the system detects an error, it routes the invoice for manual review

    Invoice errors can include duplicate billing, data entry mistakes, or numbers that don’t match what’s found on a purchase order. The system is essentially flagging anything that doesn’t look ‘normal’, so one of your employees can look into the problem. You can create a leaner workforce by eliminating all the workers that were once needed to detect these invoice errors.

  4. Improved data security

    Paper invoices can contain sensitive information about your business. They can also be lost, stolen, or end up in the wrong hands if not disposed of properly. By digitizing your invoices and processing them electronically, you can improve data security. Protect your info by encrypting sensitive financial documents and implementing a password system. In an automated AP department, user access is always authenticated. Your workers will be required to sign in to view invoices, and access levels are determined based on job function. That means high-level managers can obtain confidential financial data, whereas an accounting temp may only have access to vendor history.

  5. Reduced fraud

    AP fraud can occur when criminals posing as legitimate businesses send invoices to your company. An automated workflow system can alert you of suspicious activity. Before each invoice is paid out, it must first pass a series of tests designed to identify fraudulent behaviour. No vendor will ever receive money without going through a number of verification channels. When invoices are checked and re-checked multiple times for accuracy, your company can avoid being scammed by criminals.

If your department is having trouble keeping up with invoices and verifying inaccuracies, consider automating your workflow with an automated accounting solution. Allow your accountants to focus on higher-level duties by letting automated software handle ground-level tasks on their behalf. Save money, reduce errors and optimize efficiency by relying on automation!

For more information about accounts payable workflow automation, call Ash Conversions at 1-800-719-9621 or contact us here.

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