Working with accounts payable (AP) is often a tiresome and tedious process that can take a huge amount of time, and even the tiniest error in one part of AP processing can lead to serious consequences further down the line, so it’s no surprise that countless companies are constantly looking for ways to fine-tune their AP approach, streamline their processes, and reduce their risks of errors to optimize their daily operations.
This is where AP automation comes into play, but what is AP automation? How does it work? What sorts of benefits can it provide? This guide will look at the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on the subject of AP automation, helping you develop a better understanding of this system and see why so many companies are making use of it in the modern era.
What exactly is AP automation?
AP automation or accounts payable automation, as the name implies, is all about automating many parts of the AP process. Given that paying invoices, processing payments, and so on can take a lot of time and be highly tedious for your employees, AP automation has been designed to streamline a big part of this line of work, taking care of accounts payable documents and processes digitally.
Who needs AP automation?
Any company that does a lot of work with accounts payable can benefit from AP automation. If you have entire accounting teams dedicated to invoice and payment processing, for instance, you might be losing out on huge amounts of time, resources, and worker efforts that could be put to better use elsewhere, if you decided to invest in an AP automation system.
What kinds of benefits can AP automation provide?
So why might you actually want to get AP automation in the first place? Well, there are actually quite a lot of potential benefits that come along when you choose to invest in this modern technology. Here are just a few of the most important advantages:
- Time-Saving – By automating a large part of your AP processes, you can save inordinate amounts of time. Handling AP work manually can take hours, and even the simplest of tasks can be very time-consuming when you’re doing everything by hand or relying on outdated paper systems. With AP automation, processes that might usually take hours can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.
- Money-Saving – AP automation won’t just save you time, it can also save you a lot of money in the long run too. For example, due to the complex and time-consuming nature of AP work, it’s not uncommon for businesses to make payments late or make mistakes while processing invoices, leading to costly fees and unnecessary expenses. Since AP automation is so accurate and efficient, it drastically reduces your risks of incurring these kinds of fees.
- Fewer Errors – Following on from the previous point, it’s not unheard of for mistakes to be made when handling AP work manually, and it’s only natural that workers can sometimes make errors. However, when you put your AP tasks into the capable and reliable hands of intelligent software, the likelihood of these issues arising vastly decreases.
- Improve Morale – Another great benefit of using AP automation is how it can actually contribute to a more positive attitude and vibe around your workplace, especially among accounting professionals. Once an AP system is put into place, these workers will be more free to put their skills to better use elsewhere, able to take on new challenges and really push themselves, rather than having to tackle trivial tasks over and over again.
Is AP automation worth it?
This will always be a subjective matter, and the value of AP automation can vary from one business to the next, depending on the exact circumstances and ways of working of each company. However, it’s a simple fact that if you do a lot of work involving accounts payable, handling many invoices and processing a lot of payments to suppliers, vendors, and so on, AP automation can make a positive difference to your business in a range of different ways, as explained above.
For countless companies, AP automation has proven to be a game-changing tool, saving endless hours of work, optimizing levels of efficiency like never before, and reducing the risks of costly errors that can affect the whole business too. If you’re looking for a way to help your company get ahead of the game, choosing AP automation might be the right move.