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Why it pays to automate your accounts payable processes

Automation can help businesses labouring under the weight of manual processes to reduce their outgoings and become more efficient.

Over the past few years, a whole range of business functions have benefited from digitisation, but for many businesses in the construction industry accounts payable remains a largely manual process. Automation can help businesses labouring under the weight of manual processes to reduce their outgoings and become more efficient.

The accounts payable (AP) department is responsible for the timely payment of suppliers. It’s an incredibly important job, but one that can be prone to error due to the number of human touch points typically involved. Of course, accuracy is key in business. Accurately recording what’s owing, scheduling payments properly, and ensuring that supplier details are kept up-to-date are all part and parcel of running a successful business. They’re also essential to achieving a good-looking balance sheet.

Yet despite the advantages associated with keeping on top of your AP, some businesses find it difficult. Take your eye off the ball and before you know it you’re dealing with inaccurate records, duplicated payments, hefty late fees and little visibility around cashflow. Clearly, this is not ideal. Fortunately, automating your AP function can help you avoid these problems. In fact, there are a host of benefits associated with automating AP. Let’s take a look at them.

The benefits of automating accounts payable

1. Reduce your costs

Automating your AP function can save your business a considerable amount of money. For starters, automatically scheduling payments can help you avoid costly late fees. It can also help you take advantage of early payment discounts with suppliers and access more favourable payment terms.

Did someone say storage costs? By moving to a digital solution, you can also reduce your physical storage footprint. Better yet, Canon’s Accounts Payable solution also cuts down on retrieval costs by generating fully searchable and easily found files – no more foraging through filing cabinets or archive boxes. Whichever way you look at it, automation leads to some welcome savings.

2. Increase efficiency

You’ve heard the expression: time is money. Well, it’s true. By automating your AP function, you can unlock time that can be better spent on more profitable tasks. An automated AP process also minimises the potential for human error, a recurring problem for many businesses.

Think about it. With an automated AP solution offering Smart Capture AI, automated indexing and cloud-based storage, it’s not hard to see how automating your accounts payable operation can lead to big efficiency gains. You’ll avoid manual handling and double paying suppliers, and drastically reduce the time involved in retrieving records.

3. Strengthen compliance

Australians lose millions of dollars to fraud every year and statistics suggest that it’s on the rise. With paper-based systems incredibly vulnerable to manipulation, there’s a strong case to be made for automating your AP.

Digitisation can help you achieve more compliant audit trials and avoid the perils of cybercrime. Smart data verification technology and user-friendly validation processes eliminate the potential unauthorised access and help you keep your data safe and sound.

4. Enhance security

Speaking of safety, automation offers some compelling security benefits. With automated AP solutions with document security, automated backups, in-built traceability and DocuSign® technology that allows you to approve payments digitally, you can be confident that your AP information will be secure.

AP solutions even leverage the power of Artificial intelligence to identify and flag patterns, such as duplicate invoices, changes in document structure and using 3-way-matching to protect the business from fraud or the misuse of company funds.

5. Improve cash flow visibility

Last but not least, automated AP solutions give you greater visibility over your cash flow. By tracking the status of invoices from the time of receipt to payment, you can better manage your payment cycles. Having a birds-eye view of your AP also allows you to make more accurate forecasts and better business decisions.

So, there you have it. When it comes to accounts payable, it pays to automate your processes. Canon’s Accounts Payable solution is a feature-rich system that works straight out of the box, integrates easily with your existing systems, and delivers quantifiable cost savings and productivity gains.

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