10 reasons to consider automated invoices at your company
Technology has improved our lives in unimaginable ways. Navigation, smart homes, on-demand information, supply chains and safety features are just a few of the tools that we’ve now come to rely on every day.
Businesses have been leveraging new technology to increase productivity since the industrial revolution. Being home to many of the most time-consuming jobs, accounts payable (AP) departments are overdue for an overhaul. By using technology to automate low-level tasks, employees are finding more time for meaningful strategy, giving organizations lower overhead and more revenue opportunities.
Let’s explore some of the top reasons that invoice automation should be your company’s next initiative.
1. AP departments have more organizational impact than ever.
AP departments are full of cost-cutting and revenue-generating potential. How your business pays its bills can have major implications for your bottom line. A good payment strategy can open up supplier discounts and even generate new revenue, but AP departments are also home to a lot of inefficient work like sorting mail and stuffing envelopes. Invoice automation can bring this work into the 21st century and have a ripple effect for many other departments.
2. Cutting costs is imperative, especially in tough economies.
AP departments are expensive because they require so much manual work on each invoice. Automation gets employees away from repeatable tasks by introducing faster, better processes around reception and capture, approvals, storage and more. The speed of invoice reception and approval can change drastically, freeing up employees’ time (and therefore, money) for more impactful work. This kind of efficiency is crucial for businesses trying to stay competitive.
3. Improved cash flow is critical for competitive businesses.
If cost-cutting is imperative, cash liquidity might be more so. AP departments can play a central role in a company’s stability by controlling payables more effectively. Automation solutions allow AP departments to do that and provide real-time visibility into where payments are in the process, allowing them to forecast cash flow more accurately.
4. Early payment discounts can help reduce business costs.
Many suppliers offer discounts to companies that pay invoices early. But in order to pay early, you need to receive, validate, approve, send and ensure that payment is received by the supplier in (typically) 10 days or less. That is nearly impossible for most businesses to do on a regular basis. Automation creates opportunity to be able gain discounts more often by speeding up the most time-consuming processes in AP.
5. Automation technology is proven.
This technology isn’t new. It’s been around for over a decade and now has the hard data to prove its worth. Many companies were hesitant to adopt the technology early on, but now that case studies and results are documented, more are realizing the significant impact that automation can make to their business and bottom line.
6. Cloud-based technology offers higher Return on Investment.
Cloud-based tech is easier to maintain, is available everywhere, can be accessed 24/7 and takes the burden off of companies’ IT departments. With lower start-up costs, investing in this technology can not only provide higher ROI, it can reach it in mere months.
7. Both paper and electronic invoices can be automated.
Invoice automation can file and track everything in one place by creating electronic data from invoice images, making referencing and auditing a breeze.
8. Automation is compliant with outside regulations.
Along with easier auditing and reviewing, automation technology makes it simpler to stay in compliance with both internal and external regulations. The cloud-based technology encrypts sensitive data, and your company is no longer responsible for keeping suppliers’ sensitive information onsite under lock and key.
9. Suppliers are more apt to join in on the benefits.
Your suppliers are likely aiming for the same goals – cutting costs, creating new revenue, and making jobs easier. Invoice automation is appreciated by suppliers because they know they’re more likely to get paid faster. Plus, many solutions come with supplier onboarding programs to simplify the transition and get everyone on the same page quickly.
10. The benefits make it easy to get executive approval on the project.
Implementation of automation solutions is easier than ever, thanks to cloud-based technology that requires little-to-no IT resources. The time savings of the solution will free up weekly work hours and faster payment approvals will provide opportunities for more discounts. Plus, the solution can be classified as an operating expense, rather than a capital expenditure.
About CommercePayments™ AP Invoice Automation
Invoice automation can include everything from invoice reception to storage – electronically. This level of automation has a much bigger impact on your business, even outside of the AP department. Employee work hours, paper printing and physical storage costs, and time spent auditing are all significantly reduced. And when one of your employees goes on vacation, it’s still business as usual. Transitioning from manual to automated accounts payable can play a vital role in turning your Accounts Payable department into a profit center.
CommercePayments™ solutions are provided by Commerce Bank.