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Michael Praeger, CEO, AvidXchange

Answered: Your Top Accounts Payable Automation Questions for 2019


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Rhonda Greene, AvidXchange AP Solutions Consultant Manager, APSC, shares everything your team needs to know about AP automation before the New Year begins.

 

What is AP Automation?

 

The process of paying vendors can be manual and mundane. The accounts payable cycle is filled with countless invoice and payment steps before the due date. Thankfully, AP automation, an accounting system integration that streamlines the accounts payable process, eliminates manual steps while saving valuable time and money.

 

Here’s a fast fact: Research and advisory firm, Ardent Partners found that top-performing companies with AP automation are spending $2.52 and three days to process an invoice, while others are spending more than $14 and over 10 days.

 

Here’s how it works:

 

 

  • The invoice is received and the invoice header data is captured in the cloud-based portal for a streamlined, automated invoice approval workflow.

 

  • Once the invoice is coded and approved, it’s imported into the accounting system and posted to the general ledger. You’ll be able to easily access invoices anytime with invoice management software.
  • When you’re ready, the fully coded, fully approved invoices will be ready for you to select for payment.

 

 

 

Many believe their AP management cycle is automated, but they’re still relying on a few manual tasks. If the AP department is fully automated, the process should run start-to-finish without any manual intervention from your team.

What Does AP Automation Mean For My Finance Team?

 

There’s a popular myth about AP automation - it will eliminate finance jobs by trusting the robot to manage daily processes.

 

If AP automation is handling the heavy lifting, what does this mean for the finance team? Automation won’t make the accounts payable department become obsolete. It means less time and money is spent on manual tasks, including manually opening invoices, data entry, filing paper invoices etc. Instead, your finance team will have the power to focus on other financial priorities and processes.

 

Where’s AP Automation Headed Next?

 

It’s no secret the Digital Age is calling for companies to speed up their technology timelines in order to keep up with industry goals and strategies. Recent survey results from Ardent Partners shared organizations’ AP automation predictions for the next two years.

 

  • Increased collaboration between the accounts payable department and other departments including procurement and treasury. (71%)
  • Full AP automation - which will be seen as the stepping stone for more adoptions within the Digital Age. (59%)
  • A spike in digital B2B payments in exchange for lower costs and less manual payable processes. Most organizations are hoping for scalability and improved cash flow as a result. (50%)

 

Steps for AP Automation Success

 

Gaining buy-in from business leaders for new tech can be tough. As you begin the AP automation journey, here are few tips to help pick the perfect solution.

 

  • Add up the AP management costs. Stakeholders are interested in how AP automation can save their company time and money. The first step is to gather important data such as invoice volume and the average cost to process each invoice so that you can create a business case. This will also allow your team to easily determine potential automation savings when evaluating the cost of solutions.
  • Make a list of solution requirements. This exercise will lead your team to think about what the financial future looks like for the business, and what you’ll need most from an AP automation solution.
  • Schedule a demo. Many AP management providers offer similar solution options and benefits. During the demo, you’ll be able to learn more about the integration, features, and support services.

 

Rhonda Greene, APSC is an Accounts Payable and Payments expert that specializes in streamlined AP management. Since joining AvidXchange, Rhonda has dedicated her career to improving accounts payable efficiency with automation and best practices.  

 

Learn More: The Beginners Guide to AP Automation

 

Curious to know what else AP automation can do for your team? 12 Ways Automation Can Improve Your Workday provides industry-led insights to improve efficiency (and reduce headaches). Check out these tips to learn everything you need to know to run a well-oiled AP machine!

 

Contact us for more details about AP Automation, or if you’d like to schedule a demo click here. Call us at 800.560.9305 or email us at info@avidxchange.com.

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