AP automation is technology that automates tedious manual tasks involved in processing and paying invoices, so your accounts payable team can focus on strategic tasks.
Stop wasting hours on manual accounts payable invoicing. Accounts payable is one of the most essential functions in any organization, but that doesn’t mean you should spend hours every month on it. Your skills and financial knowledge go way beyond filling in spreadsheets and checking whether invoices have been paid. Too many businesses waste time hunting down invoices and using skilled accounting staff on data entry.
With automation, you can overhaul your business’s AP process by taking back control of your spending, time, and consistency. AP automation solutions give you a single environment where you can see every invoice and every payment instantly, meaning you can keep better, more accurate tabs on your invoices. Automatic digital payments help you manage your books, make payments when it’s best for your business — with fewer errors, and no papers to file. You can rest assured that every payment is correct to the last penny, and every supplier can get paid seamlessly through one simple, centralized place with no papers passing back and forth getting lost in the process.
The way we look at Accounts Payment is changing rapidly. Technology like artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, blockchain, and machine learning empowers modern enterprises to use their Accounts Payable department as strategic players. Best-in-class accounts payable organizations are already using automation to their advantage and are planning for new ways to automate and generate value in the future. But of course, many accounts payable departments still struggle with outdated modes of doing business.
The top challenges businesses face with their AP processes include:
Typical AP departments can be siloed, buried under paper, slow, and disconnected. Often, Accounts Payable wait for handoffs from other stakeholders before processing reams of paper invoices across multiple suppliers — buying paper in bulk and hoping to receive payment on time. With automation, every stakeholder has transparency into the AP process, can submit invoices through a centralized hub where suppliers can manage payments more easily, more quickly, and more accurately. Digitization allows for more early payments, better collaboration with suppliers and procurement, and one centralized hub for a clear view of financial information and analytics.
What does it take to create the efficient, productive, and strategy AP department you want? Best-in-class Accounts Payable departments have digitization champions who are:
AP automation cuts out all those repetitive and simple tasks and eliminates the need for any paper — you’ll never have to waste your time on that massive backlog of boring tasks waiting for you every day. Instead, you’ll get to branch out and collaborate more strategically with other departments in your company. Automation can detect errors and eliminate work done by AP employees, reducing invoice processing time down to less than four days. Automation can also suggest coding, automatically code invoices, and match invoices to multiple types of purchasing documents.
Automation is like a great sidekick, doing all the work on the back-end to make you a much more strategic partner to the CFO. The analysis takes data from invoices, purchase orders, corporate spend, supplier information, and anything filled out in a form and gives you instant access to the information you need to make strategic decisions. It has an immediate impact on your ability to forecast, budget, and plan.
The end-to-end digital process helps you connect with key stakeholders along the whole procure-to-pay spectrum. You’ll be able to support your peers in procurement by keeping suppliers happy. And when digitally connected, you have real-time information to help with supplier inquiries so that you can build stronger relationships not only with your suppliers but with the procurement function.
This information allows your AP department to be a key player in the greater organization strategy. By automating menial tasks and gaining intelligent insight into spend data, AP can find a seat at the strategy table.
Electronic is not the same as digital. The test is when something changes – do you need to resend a new document with the up-to-date information or do all parties immediately have access to the up-to-date information (ie: live data). The FUD is that people are investing in the wrong solutions when they want to do automation or digital transformation. RPA/OCR is a bridge solution that you’ll need to replace over time.
Tradeshift is the world’s largest cloud-based accounts payable platform. Buyers at businesses like DHL, Air France-KLM, and Volvo use our AP automation solution to settle thousands of invoices every day. Tradeshift provides a cutting edge AP automation solution.