Many an accounts payable (AP) manager has laid awake at night and dreamed of how productive their staff could be if they didn’t have to search, sort, file, and manually enter data from a mountain of paper documents day after day. Paper is the bane of every AP manager’s existence. AP automation is the solution – it can remove all paper from your AP process and allow your AP staffers to focus on work that has a more significant impact on your organization than merely searching, sorting and filing paper all day.
Below are five higher-value tasks that an AP automation solution allows your AP processors to focus on:
Strategic Vendor Relationship Management
Being able to consistently communicate and strengthen relationships with your most important partners and vendors isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity. Unfortunately, too many companies can’t allocate the resources to handle this all-important function.
With automation handling routine invoice processing, AP processors can allocate more time to build and nurture strategic relationships with key vendors. They can negotiate better terms, explore early payment discounts, and address vendor concerns, ultimately improving vendor relationships and optimizing procurement strategies.
Data Analysis and Reporting
AP automation generates a wealth of data related to invoices, payments, and expenses. AP processors can utilize this data to conduct in-depth analysis, identify cost-saving opportunities, monitor spending patterns, and generate meaningful reports that can guide financial decision-making within the organization.
Exception Handling and Issue Resolution
While most invoices can be processed automatically, there will always be exceptions or issues that require human intervention. AP processors can focus on resolving these exceptions, such as discrepancies in invoices or missing documentation, ensuring accurate and timely payments and minimizing disruptions in the payment process.
Process Optimization and Continuous Improvement
AP processors can work on continuously improving the AP automation solution itself. They can identify bottlenecks, streamline workflows, and implement process enhancements to increase efficiency and accuracy. By staying current with technology and industry best practices, they can ensure the AP department remains competitive and efficient.
Additionally, all AP departments deal with vendors who send out invoices loaded with errors. Being able to allocate current resources that can help solve these problems on a case-by-case basis can have a significant impact on workflow efficiency.
Fraud Detection and Security
AP processors can play a critical role in identifying and preventing fraudulent activities. They can actively monitor suspicious transactions, verify the legitimacy of new vendors, and implement security protocols to protect against payment fraud. In its 2022 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners stated that about 12% of fraud cases in a year occur within an organization’s accounting department.
Focusing on these security-related tasks and freeing up AP personnel to review your company’s current financial controls is a massive step toward fraud prevention and can help save your company thousands of dollars each year and safeguard your organization’s financial resources.
Work Smarter with AP Automation Solutions by DataServ
AP automation solutions empower AP processes to shift their focus from manual, paper-based tasks to more strategic, value-added activities that contribute to cost savings, better financial decision-making, and improved vendor relationships. This not only enhances the efficiency of the AP department but also adds significant value to your organization.