Procurement Glossary & Terminologies

Glossary / Letter A / Accounts Payable Automation

Accounts Payable Automation

What is Accounts Payable Automation?

Accounts payable automation, or AP Automation, is a technologically supported automated procedure that digitises the handling of supplier invoices by obtaining all necessary information for account processing.

Accounts Payable Automation Workflow

  1. Analysing Invoice Data: Holistic accounts payable automation begins with digitally recording invoice data, typically using scanning or capture techniques like optical character recognition (OCR).
  2. Digital Workflow: Based on specific logic specified in the company’s accounts payable automation software, accounts payable automation will then handle the coding and routing of the invoice through the digital workflow.
  3. Insight & Reporting: By providing management and AP personnel with previously unheard-of visibility and reporting capabilities into the flow of invoices and transactions across the firm, accounts payable automation considerably lowered the risk of fraud.
  4. Cost Reductions: Besides the anticipated cost savings from removing human operations, accounts payable automation can offer the firm significant cost savings. Businesses can take advantage of early payment reductions, optimize their vendor portfolio, and prevent repeated or incorrect payments.

Benefits of Accounts Payable Automation

AP automation benefits not just the finance team but the entire organisation to organise data. Mentioned-below are some benefits one can yield from AP automation:

  1. There is no requirement to save paper invoices or shipping cost receipts.
  2. Reduced manual efforts because fewer workers are required to spend time looking into invoice issues and dealing with vendor concerns
  3. Auditing invoices and ensuring compliance are easier to handle
  4. Features for security and accountability built in can alert users to unusual activities, which can help identify invoice fraud.
  5. Keeping your reputation in good standing and paying vendors on time will benefit you in future talks with them.
  6. Instead of spending their time on manual invoice data entry, staff can be reassigned to other valuable duties like evaluating invoice payment data.

Top Accounts Payable Process to Automate

Accounts Automation improves payable workflows by reducing processing times, invoice accuracy, and expenses. The following workflows can be significantly enhanced by AP automation when compared to manual processing:

  1. Invoice Data Entry: Automating the collection of invoice data from all sources is quicker and less prone to mistakes than manually inputting invoice data.
  2. Invoice Matching: Automatic matching invoices with related paperwork, such as purchase orders and receipts (three-way matching). For businesses that manually match physical documents, this automatic invoice matching is more accurate than human matching.
  3. Invoice Coding: By removing the time and discrepancies inherent in manual coding, AP Automation helps to build rules that automatically set the correct general ledger code for each invoice.
  4. Invoice Approval Routing: Routing for invoice approval is quicker and simpler when done electronically rather than manually emailing papers to each of the required approvers. Additionally, it improves responsibility across the board.

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