Managing the Accounts Payable process can be a complex and time-consuming process for businesses of any size. From processing invoices and purchase orders to managing payments and tracking expenses, there are many tasks - and details - involved. However, with the help of AP software, businesses can streamline and automate their Accounts Payable (AP) process, making it both more efficient and more cost-effective.
This type of merger between accounting and technology is key for business growth, especially in today’s world where embracing technological changes and innovative solutions is essential to remaining competitive. For business leaders, it's essentially to understand the importance.
What is AP Software?
AP software, also known as Accounts Payable software, is a tool used by businesses to automate and manage their Accounts Payable process. By digitizing the process, the software reduces the amount of time and cost spent on invoice processing, helping businesses to track and process invoices, manage purchase orders, and make payments to suppliers and vendors.
But are There Real Benefits to Using It?
Implementing AP software brings a number of benefits to business operations, including:
By automating most of the tasks involved in the AP process such as data entry, invoice processing, and payment approvals, AP software streamlines the invoice and payment workflow, therefore reducing approval times and increasing productivity. Advanced automation software can also be integrated with existing financial systems, allowing you to export accounting data regardless of your current software.
For example, Yooz already integrates with over 250 financial packages and ERP systems worldwide, ensuring an efficient and seamless real-time flow of information between systems.
Improved Accuracy and Reduced Risk
AP software significantly increases accuracy by eliminating all human errors such as data entry or payment errors, thus almost entirely eradicating costly and time-consuming invoice mistakes. The software also helps businesses identify potential fraudulent activities such as duplicate invoices or unauthorized payments with features such as 2-way or 3-way matching that automatically read and cross-check invoice data, reducing the risk of financial loss.
Digitizing the invoice process can reduce costs in several ways. First, AP software can help businesses reduce the need for manual tasks, potentially reducing the number of employees needed to manage the Accounts Payable process and freeing them to work on other tasks. Second, by automating the AP process the company also eliminates costs associated with paper-based processing such as paper, printing, mailing, and storage.
Improved Cash Flow Management
Cloud-based AP software allows businesses to track invoices throughout each stage of the payment process and access data records in a centralized storage location, helping them to identify potential cost savings. It also helps ensure that invoices are paid on time, avoiding late fees, and identifying opportunities for early payment discounts.
Worried about legislation and taxes? Cloud-based AP software creates a digital audit trail and centralizes storage in the cloud so as to simplify any audits, closings, or tas payments.
Harnessing the Combined Power of ERP Software and AP Automation
Many companies ask themselves why they would need an outside AP software provider when they already have AP automation capability in their existing financial or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. The answer is fairly straightforward: ERP software has many appealing benefits but it was designed as a generalist system, one to cover a broad range. Using it alone to handle AP tasks often results in ongoing manual processes or outsourcing parts of the process that can be both slow and costly.
AP software solutions offer much more comprehensive AP capabilities which, when properly combined with ERP or other internal software, offers full visibility across company operations (including the entire invoice-to-payment process). And, thanks to the cloud, AP software is agile and can scale easily according to company needs.
How to Pick the Best AP Software for You
As automation becomes increasingly popular as a way to streamline and improve operations, how do you know which one is a good fit for your AP team needs?
- Automation: AP software should offer capabilities that streamline your company's AP process including features such as automatic invoice processing, optical character recognition, auto-scan, EDI, payment matching, and duplicate detection.
- Data integration: Look for AP software that can integrate with your existing accounting and financial systems. There should be a real-time information flow to streamline company operations such as inventory management, project management, customer relationship management, and of course company-wide analytics and reporting capabilities.
- Flexibility: Whichever AP software option you select should be flexible enough to meet the evolving or changing needs of the organization. This includes the ability to scale, price options, customize workflow processes, variable payment methods, fluid approval capabilities, and preferably be cloud-based for 24/7 access from anywhere.
- Data Security: Simply by the capability to cross-check information AP software becomes inherently more secure. However, to ensure that your financial data is secure, choose well-known brands with a good reputation. Ones that provide two- or three-way matching, two-factor authentication, access control, and audit logging.
- Customer support: Implementation should include a detailed onboarding process as well as offer ongoing product education and customer service. For example, Yooz provides a "user university" offering ongoing product training and webinars.
Most important to remember, the AP software should be of benefit which means that it should work with you (and your existing systems), not against them.
Are You Ready to Get Started?
AP software can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to streamline their Accounts Payable process, it eliminates manual AP tasks, offers tighter controls, streamlines approvals, increases visibility into your company spending, enables you to control costs like never before, and significantly improves your company's financial health.
If today, with the benefits of AP software and automation at your fingertips, you can have total control over your processes... Are you ready to get started?