Accounts might not be the most exciting job when it comes to running a business, but it is one of the more essential day-to-day functions. And actually, the job of accounts staff can be pretty varied, particularly when the business is larger and there are multiple responsibilities to deal with every day. But there are some tasks that come under the heading of ‘repetitive, time-consuming and non-rewarding’ – like accounts payable for example. Keeping track of invoices, ensuring they are paid on time and filed away in the right places for future records is a monotonous task that takes a lot up a lot of valuable time for these highly-skilled professionals. But with the help of process automation, the entire accounts payable process can be automated, leaving your team free to spend their time on more valuable tasks. So, what are the real benefits your business will see from switching to an automated accounts payable system?
Reduced Error Rate
As business owners we spend a lot of our time trying to improve our processes and reduce error rates across the board. But the one thing we haven’t figured out yet is how to prevent human error. Everyone makes mistakes, and while 99% of the time they are completely harmless, they can also cause a lot of problems. For example, if someone in the accounts department were to mistype the amount of revenue declared in a tax year by putting a decimal point in the wrong place (something we’ve all done at one time or another), it could incur huge fines for the business.
But with automated invoice processing, mistakes can be significantly reduced or even removed completely. Document automation software can capture information as it comes into the business, and process automation can push that data into the relevant systems directly. It even goes as far as determining the invoice numbers and amounts and flagging any discrepancies for human review. The software automatically runs a check against the purchase order database, pinpointing the deviation and allowing you to deal with them before payments are made. This same process can be programmed to decide which items coming in need to be manually checked as exceptions to the pre-set rules.
Saves You Money
Of course, automated invoice processing can do a lot more than make sure your accounts are error-free. It can also significantly reduce the amount of time spent on invoicing. This might not sound like a cost-saving measure, but when you realise that automated invoice processing reduces the invoice cycle time by up to 80%, it starts to make more sense. Now that invoicing can be handled quickly, your accounts team has more time to work within the payment terms set by suppliers. This means no late payment fees, no worries about an invoice going unpaid, and no overdue invoices. No more accidentally overpaying on an invoice, or paying for one twice. Instead, accounts payable invoice automation deals with all of the heavy lifting for you, as well as alert you to duplicated and overpayments, and even reminding you of all pending due dates in one easy to manage portal. Not only that, but with automated invoice processing taking care of your payments, your business could benefit from early payment discounts with your supplier. So in many ways, process automation doesn’t just save you money, it can make you money too!
Gives You Your Staff Back
I don’t know about you, but we employ staff because they have a specialist skill set that we want to benefit from. And if we want the best performance from them, then we need to make sure they are being productive and are working on worthwhile tasks. But what we see time and time again is highly qualified staff doing menial or repetitive administrative tasks that are, essentially, a waste of a resource. But things like automated invoice processing can do the most time-consuming tasks automatically, allowing your employees to focus on other things. Once you do this, you may actually find that some employees are more valuable in other areas of the business – which is a big plus for business owners since it reduces the financial overhead and maximises the return from your investment in that employee. In short, accounts payable automation helps you ensure you’re getting the best out of your current resources.
There are many, many more reasons that investing in automated invoice processing can benefit your business, and you can discover them all. At Tipac, we help businesses unlock their true potential by designing bespoke process automation solutions that work with you, and don’t force you to work with them. We can help you free up time, resource and money by streamlining your accounts payable department, without radically changing your day to day operations.
For more information about automating your accounts payable function, or any other aspect of your business, just get in touch today for your free consultation.