How to get more visibility into your Accounts Payable process

Rob Southern
Dec 16, 2019 12:17:00 PM

Do you have enough control and visibility over your Accounts Payable process?

Failing to properly manage your Accounts Payable process can seriously affect your business. You can improve your AP processes and how you manage them is by installing AP automation software.

Accounts Payable automation allows for more visibility and control over your accounts payable process so you know how many invoices were on your AP clerk's desk, how long they were in the queue, and so on.

Automating your Accounts Payable process not only makes your processes more streamlined and efficient, but it also allows you to go paperless, which saves money. In addition, automated AP software makes everything accessible right at your fingertips -- either through your company’s computer network or on a mobile system.

More visibility and control of the business, especially AP processes, allows managers to gain more knowledge and insight into how money is being handled and processed at your company. More information generally means more efficiency, and it is also much easier to monitor the success of work that is automated, an added bonus.

Let’s dive into how exactly automated AP solutions increase visibility into your AP process.

 

Automated solutions increase Accounts Payable visibility

Automated AP solutions are more efficient and can improve approval and transaction cycle visibility in your Accounts Payable department, which allows for better control over your company’s finances. It may seem like an automated system would make you less aware of the day-to-day operations, but it can actually be very effective.

In fact, one of the things that is often overlooked when choosing an automated Accounts Payable solution is the reporting, and that’s one of the most important things to consider. If your AP solution isn’t measurable, then how do you know if it’s working? You need to be able to track success, and an automated system essentially does it for you.

Automated AP solutions are not only key in monitoring Accounts Payable and improving Accounts Payable visibility, but with an automated AP system, audits can be completed both more quickly and more thoroughly and so it is easy to see where the business or organization’s money is coming and going.

Automated AP solutions allow you to get more visibility into your Accounts Payable process by allowing you to grant immediate access of any relevant data to the correct party so you can have more oversight. Basically, it is a fully transparent and visible online process.

 

Tips for using AP Automation to increase Accounts Payable visibility

All Accounts Payable activity should be secure, cloud-based, and easy to access. After all of your purchase and payment approval processes are automated, it will increase Accounts Payable visibility and allow management to make timely, informed decisions regarding the company’s cash flows.

Here are some tips for using AP Automation to increase visibility in your department.

  • A fully transparent and automated AP process allows managers to have more visibility and control over the transaction cycle by giving them the ability to review and approve the payments in the system or via email quickly and more efficiently.
  • Automated AP software is integrated with your accounting system and offer the ability to search across a system and route invoices for approval, but if you can’t see where everything is, you could be missing a major piece of the puzzle. Keep things organized and in a centralized location to improve visibility.
  • Automated AP software allows managers to have more control over invoices, which would be nearly impossible in a manual process. With an automated system, they can simply log in to find out where an invoice is and how long it has been there, and it can even track things like staff productivity and invoice cycle time.
  • Managers can only make informed decisions when they have access to data. Automated AP processes make it easier to track success, see what bills are due and where invoices are. This allows managers to make better decisions about finances and cash flow.
  • Initiate downstream workflows so your automated AP system can notify the appropriate staff member at each stage of the process that it’s their turn to review or validate an invoice.
  • Automated AP software allows you to simplify invoice audits and approvals so all documents are in one system and following one set workflow. This makes it easier to access and review invoices during any point in the Accounts Payable cycle.

 

Using an automated Accounts Payable system can improve visibility into your AP process. Monitoring is easier, access is seamless, processes are streamlined, bills are paid faster, fewer bills are late -- the benefits are endless.

AP automation may improve Accounts Payable visibility and make your processes more efficient, but how do you measure the success and efficiency of your AP solution?

 

KPIs you should be using to measure the efficiencies of your AP department

Whenever you change or update any process or workflow, especially in Accounts Payable, you should continuously monitor, analyze, and make improvements to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. In fact, gaining more visibility into Accounts Payable and reviewing AP workflows and activities should be a key part of routine meetings.

An automated software solution allows for more Accounts Payable visibility, simplifies tracking, and enables you to identify potential pain points and strengthen others, all while making sure your suppliers/vendors are seeing the best performance.

Track KPIs in order to measure the efficiencies of your AP department. You should start by pulling detailed analytics reports on your Accounts Payable KPIs and your invoice process performance so you can determine if your AP solution is really working for you and your company.

Accounts Payable KPIs you should be using to measure your AP department:

  • Average cost per invoice
  • Total number of invoices received
  • Total number of invoices processed
  • Invoice cycle time
  • Discounts captured
  • Rate of wrong payments

 

Monitoring these KPIs will give you all the visibility you need when it comes to tracking the success of your Accounts Payable department, as they reveal any insufficiencies or bottlenecks in your AP processes so you can continue to update and improve them.

Not only that, but properly managing your Accounts Payable and installing AP automation software allows more visibility into your processes. This ensures you have the cash you need to sustain your business and helps you maintain strong relationships with suppliers/vendors, which is critical to your company’s well being.

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