Why Accounts Payable Needs Workflow Automation Software

Posted on April 05, 2020

For an object that seems to take up so little room on its own, paper can pile up quickly. In accounts payable, paper will find a way to multiply, which can sometimes result in critical information vanishing. Many organizations are beginning to consider workflow automation software to simplify, streamline, and organize their invoices as a remedy.

Business process automation (BPA), a strategy that deploys tools like workflow automation software, is valuable in any department that needs to handle data quickly and accurately.

4 Reasons Why Accounts Payable Departments Need Workflow Automation Software

Despite advances in the office that have led to more digitized workflows, accounts payable departments remain firmly rooted in manual, paper-based processes. These laborious and inefficient processes can slow an entire company down by delaying payments or decreasing the speed at which services are received.

In the past few years, workflow automation software has gained popularity in many parts of business operations, particularly in administrative tasks. For the accounts payable department, such business process automation empowers professionals to:

1. Save Time, Money, and Sanity With Efficient Processes

Imagine accomplishing in two business days a process that once took two weeks. That is what business process automation does for processes in accounts payable.

Accelerating processes is one way to make them more efficient. With digitized workflow tools, an accounts payable team of professionals can process invoices faster and with less effort. That leaves them more time to spend on tasks that require human expertise.

Accounts payable benefits from many of the more advanced features frequently found in automated software solutions. Among those features include:

  • Optical character recognition: Algorithms leveraging OCR can scan invoices and extract important information while reducing the amount of manual entry involved.
  • Scheduled backups and automatic storage: Prevent the loss of critical business information by automating backups and securing storage archives that keep invoices safe.
  • Smart searching: Enhanced search capabilities such as autofill or auto-detect within unstructured data make finding and accessing invoices or receipts easier than ever.
  • Approval notifications: Never miss an invoice, receipt submission, or another important form again as automated approval notifications will keep necessary parties informed and make approvals a breeze.   

2. Embrace Precision to Its Fullest Potential

If there is anything that accounts payable teams love, it’s having more control over their processes. Accounts payable represents a fundamental part of any business – it plays an enormous role in ensuring that the correct money flows in and out of the business at all times. However, between manual calculations, physical filing, or other hand-crafted communications, plenty of opportunities for error exist.

Automation helps eliminate errors, which can have a severe impact on the organization all around. From overpayment on bills, to IRS audits due to underreported income, mistakes can prove costly even though they are entirely avoidable.

However, business process automation software deployed in accounts payable helps the department to embrace precision to its maximum. The auto-detection of errors or inconsistencies can prevent the sending of an incorrect purchase order amount. Likewise, two- or three-way matching helps validate data across bookkeeping and document management systems to ensure that numbers are always correct. Automated invoicing and bill payments decrease the number of errors and days it takes for money to move, keeping these critical functions running smoothly and rapidly.

3. Monitor Compliance and Security

Management systems are useful across the board due to their ability to increase visibility into a company’s internal operations. With accounts payable, business process automation software delivers value in its ability to monitor compliance and security.

Compliance is a major concern in accounts payable, but it can be complicated and less-than-straightforward. Regulations may relate to financial information, employee or vendor information, or even vendor authorization requirements. However, with software explicitly selected for the company’s industry, it becomes possible to create processes and workflows that adhere to the industry or legal compliance regulations while keeping all data secure.

4. Support Workplace Collaboration

Since many workflow tools leverage cloud connectivity, it is easy for departments such as sales, human resources, and accounting to access the same information as necessary. The right business process automation tool makes it easier for teams to hand off invoices, receipts, or other vital pieces of information quickly – or to adjust information as required.

Collaboration is well-known for its ability to accelerate operations, increase innovation, and motivate employees. Organizations seeking to improve workplace collaboration may wish to consider how workflow management tools can support this goal.

RJ Young Knows Business Process Automation

Business process automation is steadily gaining popularity due to its ability to deliver simplified, streamlined workflows to offices. For mission-critical processes, such as those found in accounts payable, these tools can prove valuable.

Connect with a technology solutions expert to discover the best way to deploy this software before embarking on the process of automating accounts payable. Enjoy maximum speed, efficiency, and accuracy through optimal use.

RJ Young is a leader in business process automation for businesses in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and throughout the southeast. Start a conversation now about elevating the processes of accounts payable.

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