Invoice approvals seem to take forever. Vendors don’t get paid on time. If this sounds like your office, your accounts payable process is in a dysfunctional state, and you’re probably frustrated by it every day.

Your AP department is probably plagued by a lack of visibility into the invoicing pipeline, and the problems of gathering the data they need every month.

Your CFO is likely frustrated by an inability to forecast accurately, difficulty collecting audit data, and  not having enough control over the big picture.

Your managers responsible for budgets may be annoyed by having to be in the building to approve an invoice. Or maybe they’re approving invoices through unorganized emails that are almost impossible to track through the system.

These problems are symptomatic of an underlying issue, and if you’ve been putting off automation, that’s it. Automating AP may seem like a daunting project, but it’s actually quick, easy, and once it’s done, you’ll feel better immediately.

 

Instant cure #1: the holistic alternative

Think about it. If all your invoices were tracked by the same system, all the information you need to close out every month would be right at your fingertips. All in one place.

AP could generate reports with the click of a keystroke.

With a good view of payments that will be in the pipeline later on, Finance would be able to create more accurate and more beneficial forecasts. Audit report packages would keep the audit process simple and stress-free, and ensure professional and painless audits, whether they involve financial accounting or compliance. 

 

Instant cure #2: relaxation

A dysfunctional AP process is a huge source of stress. By taking responsibility off your hands, worry off your mind, and repetitive task performance out of your day, automation doesn’t just speed things up. It calms things down, too.

Take the time beforehand to figure out which steps in your process can be automated. This will help ensure that you end up with a user-friendly solution that allows you to say goodbye to archaic IT protocols and the anxiety they produce.    

 

Instant cure #3: killing the pain

Some companies try to ease into AP invoice automation by implementing e-invoicing, and creating a digital workflow for manual processes. That’s a band aid solution that merely covers up the root of the problems. Dig deeply into what happens at each step in your AP process, identify the pain points, and imagine an automated system that can take them out for you.

As you do this exercise, you may envision a system that automates things like line level matching on invoices, so you can compare apples to apples when you analyze costs.   

Maybe you see the value in automating the management of exceptions—such as packaging costs, freight/pallet cost, overtime and other charges that appear on invoices, but were not part of your original order.  Your dream AP solution will take care of the coding, handling and approval of these types of costs without demanding a single human hour.

Common deviations of price or item information shouldn’t confuse the system. You want a solution that takes imperfect invoices in stride, shielding your team from having to deal with anything less than a large deviation that requires informed decision-making.

What if your managers could approve invoices any time of the day, any day of the week, from anywhere? Your solution should offer an online portal that’s accessible through a mobile app that’s easy to use without training or installation.   

Paybox is a single platform for vendor management, invoice processing, invoice status updates, payment notification and AP customer service. It reduces the amount of time and paper used in processing AP, to save you money with no cost to your vendors. For more information, and tips on AP automation, contact us at (954) 510-3750.