Each day the C-suite seeks innovative ways to resolve common obstacles. Modern management teams are learning how to stay ahead of the curve through the smart use of human resources and technology. Discover five ways AP automation solutions can resolve some of the common problems faced by the C-suite in a continually evolving international marketplace.

1.Reduce Errors Associated with Manual Processing

For generations, the AP team processed invoices manually. This tedious process was time-consuming and required ongoing attention to detail. To err is human, even for the best team members, and inevitable mistakes occurred. Unfortunately, errors can cost the organization money and put a strain on relationships with key vendors.

Adopting AP automation solutions reduces or eliminates the errors associated with manual processing. Achieving the highest level of accuracy helps companies save money and maintain strong vendor relationships that can lead to additional money-saving opportunities, such as discounts for loyalty and early payment. And the AP team has emerged from the back office to become strategic partners with the C-suite, looking for opportunities to reduce operating costs.

2. Access to the Latest Financial Data

With manual accounts payable processing comes uncertainty about the latest financial data. It can take hours or days to process invoices, prepare financial reports, and share them with the C-suite. In the meantime, the management team is depending on outdated data to make crucial business decisions.

The days of invoices and updates sitting on a desk for approval and review are over. Data on new invoices, payments, cash flow, and more are all updated in real-time with the use of cloud-based AP automation solutions. The C-suite has instant access to the latest financial data to make educated choices based on current facts rather than speculation.

3. Collaboration in Real-Time – Anytime and Anywhere

With invoice approvals in mind, the process of paying vendors often takes days when the work is performed manually. The passing of paperwork between the financial team members can lead to errors, such as overlooking the payment to an important vendor. A ripple effect may occur, such as an interruption of essential supply deliveries that halts production and impacts profits.

The days of waiting for invoice approvals are over for companies with AP automation solutions. Invoices can be shared and approved in seconds rather than days to avoid late payments that lead to costly fees and vendor dissatisfaction. And the C-suite can collaborate with the financial team in real-time, anytime and anywhere, to make well-informed decisions on-the-spot.

4. Discover and Create Money-Saving Opportunities

Manual processing takes longer than automated processes. Robust AP automation solutions now handle routine tasks once performed by humans. The AP team no longer spends all its time on mundane projects and enjoys a better quality of work focused on thoughtful processes to create money-saving opportunities for the company.

The AP team is using the extra time to find ways to reduce costs, such as making early payment arrangements with vendors. The efficiency of using AP automation ensure timely invoice payments, which opens the door to asking for loyalty discounts from vendors.

5. Improve Working Capital and Boost the Bottom Line

As a strategic partner, the AP department is supporting activities to free up cash and improve working capital by examining processes such as contractual reviews, invoicing, sourcing, master data, accounting and reporting, and procurement. Ways to optimize working capital include negotiating volumes or early payment discounts and negotiating longer payment terms.

Data is synchronized between the AP automation solution, ERP, and the procurement system for true automation. Accuracy is improved to eliminate the mistakes associated with the inaccurate entry of data, such as payment errors. Eliminating account delinquencies prevents fees, fines, and regulatory penalties to help companies build a trustworthy reputation and boost the bottom line.

AP automation solutions are no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Companies that fail to make the transition from manual processes to automation will soon be left behind. When the C-suite calculates the potential ROI for investing in AP automation solutions, the decision is clear – automation improves operations, eliminates errors, and helps companies be more competitive and profitable.

Posted by Miley Dowling

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