More and more organizations are looking for an easier way to do vendor invoice approval. The person able to authorize payment and signify his or her approval of a supplier invoice still requires an additional check signer. If the check exceeds a certain amount, a second check signer is required. This control supposedly gives multiple senior-level people the chance to stop a payment. In reality, it is more likely to only introduce another step into the payment process without really strengthening the control environment.
The term “accounts payable automation” or “AP automation” is used to describe the ongoing effort of many companies to streamline the business process of their accounts payable departments. The accounts payable department’s main responsibility is to process and review transactions between the company and its suppliers. In other words, it is the accounts payable department’s job to make sure all outstanding invoices from suppliers are approved, processed, and paid. Processing an invoice includes recording important data from the invoice and inputting it into the company’s financial, or accounting, system. After these tasks are accomplished, the invoice must go through the company’s business process to be paid.
This process is straightforward but can become very cumbersome, especially if the company has a very large number of invoices. This problem is compounded when invoices that require processing are on paper. This can lead to lost invoices, human error during data entry, and invoice duplication. These and other problems lead to a high cost-per-invoice metric. The goal of automating the accounts payable department is to streamline this invoicing process, eliminate potential human error, and lower the cost per invoice. Some of the most common AP automation solutions include e-invoicing, scanning and workflow, online tracking, reporting capabilities, electronic invoice user interfaces, supplier networks, payment services, and cost analytics for all invoices.
Direct integration of AP automation with your accounting system of choice is the best approach. Some companies will tell you they offer direct integration with your accounting system, but you may be unknowingly paying for this integration. Eliminating paper and automating accounts payable across companies on a Cloud Purchase-to-Pay platform that handles currency, intercompany transactions, and multi-entity bills should be “out of the box” – that is, it should not be customized. Be able to preapprove purchases against budgets and track contracts. Enjoy error-free invoice capture and approval with secure payments from any device. Accountnet helps accounts payable and purchasing departments work together to allow for a better workflow, especially when key personnel are out on vacation. E-invoicing allows vendors to submit invoices over the internet and have those invoices automatically routed and processed. Because invoice arrival and presentation are almost immediate, invoices are paid sooner; therefore, the amount of time and money it takes to process these invoices is greatly reduced.
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Written by Accountnet, Inc.