Throughout your organization’s daily operations, your Accounts Payable department probably deals with hundreds of invoices and a ton of paperwork each day. Perhaps their resources are stretched thin or they’re dealing with various invoicing problems throughout the procurement cycle. Whether it’s missing data or invoicing mistakes, running AP processes smoothly can present some challenges. How these challenges manifest themselves is subjective to every individual company, but the truth is that sometimes inefficient operations and processes can drastically inhibit an organization’s ability to monitor spend and pay invoices promptly. Introducing automation into your AP processes can make a big difference. Here are five reasons to consider automation today.
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More Options For Suppliers
One key benefit of invoice automation is in improving supplier relationships. Lower costs and better efficiency are only a few of the benefits of having a good supplier relationship. Per The Oxford College of Procurement and Supply, establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with suppliers will not only drive future success, it’ll also help generate payment discounts, consolidate the supply chain, and help you both save money long term. That’s why it’s so crucial for them to have some options when it comes to invoicing. Giving suppliers more options to bill and receive payments gives everyone more control over procurement and invoicing while eventually reducing costs and optimizing cash flow throughout the organization.
Another useful feature of invoices is multi-level validation. This is a way for reviewers from across the AP department to tackle invoices conveniently and intelligently. You can set thresholds and matching standards to automatically align bills with the correct receipts and to flag certain invoices that don’t meet your criteria for manual review. This way, you can quickly pay some invoices while filtering out any that need to be reviewed. With the integration of mobile approval, your AP department can manually review and approve invoices from their phone. Early payment discounts can also be incorporated into the process since your system will automatically pay out some invoices fast. This eventually improves cash flow and cuts back on paperwork, making it beneficial for everyone throughout the process.
Intelligent Fraud Detection
While it may have seen like science fiction only a decade ago, artificial intelligence is making a significant impact on numerous industries. A combination of AI and machine learning is one of the things that makes cloud invoicing one of the best ways to prevent fraud. Imagine there are several fraudulent transactions occurring throughout your business. During your normal assessments and audits, you don’t flag or really notice them. Maybe they’re not following a readily identifiable pattern or they’re spaced out enough to avoid cursory detection. Regardless, when they’re reviewed together by a powerful AI, you might find they are fraudulent or break compliance standards. Intelligent fraud detection keeps audits focused on identifying and weeding out these potentially fraudulent transactions. It can also stop these types of transactions from going through, making it an invaluable asset for monitoring invoices and spending.
Better Spend Visibility
In any of your daily operations, knowing where money is going and staying on top of your company’s spend is critical to successful operations. Automation frees up resources, human and otherwise, to help control your company’s spend. This works in conjunction with fraud detection to give you a real-time look at your spending. Having the ability to see what’s happening gives you more overall control and makes invoicing a breeze.
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Stay On Top Of Regulations/Compliance
Every industry has to operate under some guidelines and regulations. Whenever you’re dealing with international suppliers, you need to be sure you’re keeping up to date with indirect tax regulations. These include value added taxes (VAT) and the Goods & Services tax (GST). Your automation software will have features built in to help recognize these taxes and remain compliant across every single invoice. Not only that, but some programs offer third party reviews to help absolutely ensure 100% compliance. The last thing you want is a hefty fine or sanction for failing to comply with financial regulations. And instead of relying on the human element to handle everything, bolstering your efforts with automation makes the entire process much smoother and easier for the entire company.