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5 mins read

Accounts Payable Automation

Acing the Accounts Payable Payment Process

by Yooz on 04.20.2022

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No matter if it arrives in an envelope or with a little “bing” in your inbox, every time an invoice comes in, the race is on to get it processed, reviewed, and paid in as little time and with as little effort as possible. All the while making sure you don’t get tripped up by errors, duplicates, or fraudulent submissions. There are two ways to proceed: manual entry is without question the least efficient method to deal with invoices because it’s slow, labor-intensive, costly, and prone to mistakes. The other way - the best way - to process invoices fast, securely, and at scale is accounts payable automation.

Yooz is the cloud-based platform that enables organizations of every size and in any industry to master AP automation because it lets them complete their workflow in record time, with minimal costs and the lowest possible error rates. It’s a tried and true five-step approach that can slash processing costs per invoice by 80% or more as well as cut cycle times from weeks to days or even hours.

Even better, AP automation will turn what used to be a back-office cost center into an important value driver for the entire company and a beacon of digital transformation. Once you have real-time financial intelligence about the goods and services you purchased at your fingertips, you'll quickly forget about the "manual days". Paying invoices won't be a struggle, it will be a smooth process that provides information to help you optimize cash management.

 

How to make the accounts payable process a value driver

 

Making your accounts payable payments process into a cutting-edge system means it’s no longer an administrative burden. Instead, it becomes a key contributor to making you more competitive, productive, and resilient - no matter what disruptions the economy may throw at you.  Indeed, purchase-to-payment AP automation has recently been making inroads into the accounting process, according to the report “The State of ePayables 2021” by Ardent Partners. Unprecedented times meant that more companies realized they had to not only digitize but also automate the way they process and pay invoices, leaving “a majority of accounts payable teams … with new tools.” In Ardent’s estimate, “the industry has reached its highest technology adoption rates yet, while also seeing an increase in those that plan to deploy solutions in the near term.”

When Ardent polled finance leaders, here’s what they were told are on the priority list:

 

  • Improve AP reporting and data analytics

  • Eliminate paper invoicing and manual tasks

  • Enable more suppliers to submit invoices electronically

  • Eliminate paper check payments

  • Implement AP automation and

  • Reduce processing costs.


No paper, no pain: why your accounts payable process should be automated


Less paper and less human touch from PO to payment are among the core benefits of an intelligent AP payments process. Done right, it empowers the AP function to “...contribute more strategically to operations,” as Ardent puts it. With one big caveat, according to research findings: only 41% of companies surveyed had a solution for scheduling payments in place, and only 35% for payment execution. That leaves a lot of room for improvement. No wonder then that roughly one in four respondents told them they want to implement electronic B2B payments and a complete procure-to-pay solution.

So, how do best-in-class companies tackle the AP payments process? They optimize along the five steps of AP automation, streamlining it from capture to payment. Step one means getting all invoices captured almost instantly, regardless of their format. In step two, machine learning algorithms read and extract all relevant data points. This lets them match invoices to purchase orders (PO), goods received notes (GRN), and catch errors.


Once these crucial steps are done it is on to step three, where invoices are routed for approval to the right people in the right order and then of course step four, where they are slated for payment. Step five? Payment! 


With all these steps manual processes and juggling entries in a spreadsheet simply can’t keep up with the speed of business and could potentially cost you twice. One, through entry errors that let mistakes and dupes slip through, and two, by way of missed payments and late fees that pile up. These will cause unnecessary expenses and create ill will among your suppliers.


Automation enables your AP staff can do better in less time. They can review and approve invoices that have already undergone three-way matching and been vetted for approval (Yooz ensures that this can be done from anywhere, even on their mobile devices at the home office or on the road). No more different people or branches collecting and shipping around documents that need to be sorted and handled. No more delays and late fees due to invoices sitting on someone’s desk and not getting the attention they deserve.

 

Always on time, thanks to an intelligent accounts payable process

 

Timeliness is far from a trivial point, especially since the pandemic caused many organizations to face invoice backlogs and late payments while their staff was working from home, stretched thin or both. Straight-through processing with as few human touch points as possible can make the difference between powering on and paying all invoices on time or battling backlogs and suffering through the occasional cash crunch.

Automating the AP payments process alleviates additional pain points. It unlocks early payment discounts and lets you focus on negotiating more favorable terms with your key suppliers. Vendors, for their part, are happy because they have full visibility into where their invoices are and when payments are scheduled to go out. No need to work the phones and go on a paper chase for that one overdue invoice. As a result, you can strengthen relationships with your suppliers and build an overall stronger supply chain.

 

The accounts payable process that pays back, one invoice at a time

 

 What business doesn't like cash savings? Automation generates valuable cash back one invoice at a time which adds up quickly. An average business handling a few hundred invoices a month stands to earn back several thousand pounds sterling a year. If you add this to the six or seven figure savings already being realized by automating the AP process, the department has evolved into a new revenue stream for the organization.

 

Yooz removes all barriers in your accounts payable process

 

Think about it this way: As consumers, we’re used to and rightfully expect maximum ease of use, speed and security when ordering and paying for goods and services, whether it’s in a browser or from a mobile device. Click and done is the name of the game. That means that any organization has the following five aces allowing them to zip through the AP payments process in record time:

 

  • Unmatched all-in-one convenience for your AP staff with an intuitive and simple interface.
  • Fast and intuitive vendor onboarding vendors with a single email and a single click.
  • Full control and security with a real-time audit trail for full transparency.
  • Cash back as a recurring revenue stream for every invoice paid by virtual card.
  • Trust and reliability from a market leader in AP automation who keeps pushing innovation.

 

A powerful, easy-to-use cloud-based automation software solution makes the difference between merely coasting along or soaring above the competition with the help of an intelligent end-to-end platform. With five advantages to do better, why not play a winning hand?

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