10 Reasons to Automate Your Accounts Payable Processes

Haven’t automated your accounts payable and the rest of your financial accounting systems from manual processes? You might be worried about making the big jump. After all, the very idea might conjure up fears of extra expenses and time involved, not to mention potential disruptions to your workflow. However, if you weigh the benefits against the costs of automating your systems, you’ll quickly realize that the returns you receive down the road will be worth the investment. Here are ten reasons why you should be automating your accounts payable.

1. It’s faster

With automated software, your accountants will have access to all your financial documents at the touch of a button. Think of the time you’ll save now that you don’t have to hunt down outstanding invoices and punch in your sales numbers manually. Staff won’t be bogged down performing those manual tasks, freeing them to concentrate on more relevant activities.

2. It’s more accurate

Manual data entries from hard-copy documents can result in far more errors than if forms like purchase orders are available electronically. Furthermore, software will also flag any data that might be considered erratic so it can be rectified in seconds.

3. It assesses company performance instantaneously

Save yourself the headaches of shuffling through hard copy reports to pin down any trouble spots in AP. A few keystrokes can display all those reports instantaneously to zero in on any areas of concern.

4. It saves money on transactions

The speed inherent in an automated accounts payable system can not only cut down on penalty costs associated with late payments, but can help you take advantage of early payment discounts offered by suppliers.

5. It cuts down on clutter

Time isn’t the only savings you’ll realize; imagine the space you’ll save from eliminating all those stuffed file cabinets and storage rooms. Getting rid of all those messy piles of paperwork on employee desks will also promote a stress-free work environment.

6. It’s more environmentally-friendly

Speaking of piles of paperwork, imagine all the acres of trees you’ll save with an automated accounts payable system. Going paperless also reduces the need for expensive toner cartridges, frees up storage space, contributes to cleaner work environments and boosts your company’s reputation as an eco-friendly organization.

7. It reduces budgetary guesswork

By having a history of all your AP transactions, the information you need to produce those tedious, yet critical, budgets is more readily available. If changes need to be made, additional automated features can help you calculate more realistic forecasts and track any potential trends.

8. It cuts down on fraud

The infrastructure of an automated accounts payable system provides certain checks and balances against human error—intentional or otherwise. Those same checkpoints, which require approvals and cross-check invoices against any rogue purchase orders, will also ensure no unauthorized purchase flies below the radar.

9. It gives you the big picture

User-friendly displays in software technology allow owners and managers to visualize all stages of the procurement cycle and workflow stages so that they can assess their performance. At a glance, you can retrieve any file to compare productivity between departments and chart their performance quarter to quarter.

10. It makes decision-making easier

With automated features at your fingertips, you’ll have everything you need to make decisions surrounding your company’s future, even through mobile procurement when you’re out of the office. You can also eliminate worries about information overload, as most systems can sort your data to prioritize what you need to know.

Speed, accuracy, accountability and organization are just some of the reasons why companies should convert from paper-based accounts payable procedures to an automated system. Such a conversion will mean that your employees have more time to focus on the key aspects of your business, which equals more money in company coffers in the long run.

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