Your accounting department is one of the most integral business units in the strategic planning process. Leading businesses know the importance of involving their finance teams in higher-value work such as cash flow management, forecasting, and budgeting. While finance professionals are called to perform more strategic work, less time is available for functional operations like invoice processing, payment remittance, and vendor relationship management.
The task lists for finance teams, particularly in accounts payable (AP), are growing. Tactical duties such as invoice processing and vendor payments are essential for business continuity, but the manual effort required for these tasks are taxing for even the most seasoned AP teams. To streamline the auditing and payments process, business leaders are moving away from manual systems and exploring innovative technology. According to recent PYMTS data, 86% of CFOs are digitizing their AP operations to boost customer and vendor satisfaction in order to improve revenue.
OpenEnvoy, the world’s first real-time AP automation solution and Finexio, the fast-growing AP payments-as-a-service vendor, are discussing how finance leaders can free their AP teams from manual invoice and payments processes and ensure invoices are paid on time, every time.
Eliminate Wasted Spending and Payments
The inefficiency and error-prone nature of manual, paper-based processes is the most common barrier to making payments earlier in the billing cycle. These challenges often result in strained vendor relationships and balance sheet inconsistencies for both sides. Low-performing software and payment solutions can create issues for finance teams like exorbitant time spent tracking down records, manual entry errors, and the inability to catch invoice discrepancies and duplication in real-time. The intricacies involved in auditing high-volumes of invoices can result in drawn-out disputes with vendors and loss of resources.
Winning AP teams understand the benefits of an integrated and centralized system for invoice auditing and making payments. Deploying the latest AP automation software ensures accuracy and enables scalability by identifying errors before payment. By recognizing discrepancies in real-time, issues are addressed within hours and teams have confidence in their approved payments.
The benefit of lightweight, easy-to-use AP technology is that users maintain full control over their data, including what and when they choose to pay. With data management integrated into the AP payables function, leaders and teams can generate actionable insights from their invoicing and payments data to better protect against fraud, forecast potential risks, and identify growth opportunities.
Automation software also decreases the number of manual work hours needed from teams. Companies can save 800 employee hours every month with real-time AP automation, according to Matt Cohen, VP of Finance at Bliss Point Media and an OpenEnvoy customer. Easy-to-use workflows and custom rules enable automation to model the AP team’s unique business logic. With less manual intervention, invoices are accurately audited and ready for approval sooner. Teams do not need to change the way they work, and be up and running faster, because the right automation tool will work the way you do.
Using spend insights dashboards generated from AP automation, teams can allocate more time to cost optimization strategies, tracking vendor billing performance, and forecasting cash needs. With the benefits of AP payment automation combined with a dedicated vendor enablement and support team, your AP staff can offload their most time-consuming activities: invoice auditing, payment processing, vendor communications and exception management. In fact, you can free up to 84% of your AP staff’s time on tasks related to vendor payments. With your payment operations fully managed by service teams, you will reduce costs, save time, and improve back-office efficiency.
Through the power of automation and artificial intelligence, you can pay your vendors immediately after invoices are approved with no cost or manual work. The latest B2B payment technology ensures your AP team has a seamless way to optimize outbound payables. With dedicated service teams to provide continuous vendor onboarding and support, all of your vendors receive payment in their method of choice. Buyers are also able to optimize costs with payment technology. According to recent PYMNTS data, creating a check costs about 82 cents on average compared to 13 cents for an electronic payment. Through 24/7 access to data and vendor relationship management, AP teams can also capture cash back discounts for early payments and strengthen 100% of their vendor relationships, not just the top tier.
Your AP Team Can Drive Value with More Free Time
According to Gartner experts, digital investment is the only way finance leaders can grow their enterprises during market fluctuations and volatility. Efficiency and accuracy are the foundation for enterprise growth and scalability. Using technology to empower AP teams strengthens the overall finance function as errors are eliminated and there is more time available for strategic work.
It is mathematically impossible to build a scalable business without automation. And it is the responsibility of finance leaders to cut down on manual processes in order to reduce burnout and drive enterprise-wide value. In doing so, they improve their bottom line and simultaneously create more engaging work for their teams. With more flexibility in their workday, the AP team is less likely to experience fatigue and will no longer feel overextended with high-volume, repetitive tasks.
This approach allows finance leaders to drive internal engagement, unlock efficiencies, and ensure invoice payments are never incorrect or late again.