The ultimate guide for AP Automation software

If you’re still handling accounts payable manually, then you may be looking for an alternative. Manual processes can be costly, time-consuming, and inefficient. You might find it hard to pay your suppliers in a timely manner and there may be bottlenecks in your processes that cause delays for your team.

There is a solution, however. A professional accounts payable software can take care of everything for you. If you’re looking to learn about accounts payable automation, then you’re in the right place.

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What are Accounts Payable?

Accounts payable, or AP, is a term used to describe a company’s obligation to pay off goods purchased on credit. 

The accounts payable department within a business is responsible for paying any incoming invoices, subscriptions, and other business expenses. They will keep supplier details on file, liaise with suppliers, process invoices, handle invoice queries and disputes.

Other tasks will vary depending on the size of the company, but in addition, you’d expect that the accounts payable department will also deal with internal payments, such as petty cash, receipt reimbursements, and business travel expenses.

Other important tasks might include end-of-month aging analysis reports for upper management, and cost-saving strategies, such as early payment to receive discounts.

How does Accounts Payable Automation work?

AP automation solutions are secure, cloud-based platforms where invoices can be quickly processed by software, using AI, rather than by your accounts payable team spending hours on data entry.

It doesn’t matter whether your invoices are sent by email, through your online portal, as a PDF or Word document, or even via post as a paper document.

With professional accounting automation, your team can quickly scan paper invoices into your software using just a mobile phone. They can also upload any electronic invoices straight into the system.

The software is designed to use AI to read and recognize the important parts of each invoice, no matter how it is laid out or in what format it is received.

Your AP automation software will have everything ready so that your accounts payable team can approve and pay invoices right from the software. They don’t have to log into other systems, type up paper invoices, or struggle to find all the information they need on unfamiliar invoices. And automation software will track due dates and ensure that all invoices are paid on time.

Automated invoicing is an excellent choice for taking a huge part of the workload from your accounts payable team. Professional software uses document recognition and smart data capture to understand and process invoices. The software can organize your data, provide information to other departments as needed, and provide high-quality reporting.

10 advantages to automating Accounts Payable

AP automation has many benefits for businesses. Below you can see just some of the advantages of using professional software rather than a manual approach to invoice payment:

1) Time and cost savings

AP automation doesn’t cost as much as you might think, and certainly not compared to the savings you can make. It costs far less to implement accounts automation software than it does to hire several extra accounts payable team members to keep up with manual entry as you scale.

You can reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) cost of processing your invoices rapidly after introducing professional software. You can even make savings within hours or days of switching to using software.

Another way of saving is by reducing or even eliminating the risk of late payment fees and interest. And you can take advantage of early payment discounts from your suppliers. Not to mention the sheer amount of time that your team members aren’t spending on manual data entry.

2) Increase your reputation

If you’re known for paying early or on time, every time, you’ll have an excellent relationship with your suppliers. This gives them peace of mind and also allows you to have uninterrupted supplies to keep your business running smoothly.

Some suppliers may also extend a larger line of credit to you, allowing you to take advantage of sales and special offers. You can also be sure that if you have an unexpected occurrence such as a larger order than expected, you will still be able to get what you need from your suppliers to deliver on time. An excellent reputation may also allow you to take advantage of staggered payments.

3) Do more with less

Every business wants to save time and money, and accounts payable automation software really does allow you to increase efficiencies across your organization

The right software can reduce your invoice processing time by more than a quarter, sometimes even by more than that. If your invoices are being processed faster and more efficiently, you have vital data available to you more quickly. You can look at cash flow and other vital financial information, and your staff can spend time on more important things.

While it’s never nice to think about, if you do need to make any staff redundant for any reason, your AP software will ensure that you can still process your invoices rapidly and smoothly.

4) Increased accuracy

With the best will in the world, no human can be 100% accurate with data entry. It’s simply not possible. However, with Rossum’s AI engine powering, your invoice processing will be highly accurate. You will also get increasingly more accurate data as the system learns.

The system can also help with retrieving vital invoice data for reports and tracking of KPIs. You can forget about lost paper invoices, forgotten invoices, paying late, and incorrect data entry.

5) Free up your employees for other things

Far from dreading AI or worrying about it, employees are keen to embrace it and reduce or eliminate repetitive tasks. Over 50% of workers believe that automation tools would save more than five hours a week of work time, according to a Monday.com report

Your accounts payable team would no doubt be delighted with five free hours a week to work on jobs that really move the needle. Your team could then spend their time on highly important jobs, such as fraud prevention, process improvement, and spending management. They could work on finding other efficiencies and generating new ideas for the company and have time for better management of supplier relationships, cash management, and driving financial visibility to stakeholders.

6) Better information sharing and insights

When all your invoicing data is stored securely in the cloud, there’s no need to spend time looking through files or trying to find digital copies. Everything you need is right at your fingertips.

With the Rossum Usage Reporting Dashboard, you can track every aspect of your businesses automation usage and performance. With this in mind, company leaders can more easily view what processes can be improved to set and meet business goals. 

This isn’t just convenient for the accounts payable teams, but it also means that other departments can quickly gain access to the data they need, too. Finance can quickly get a complete picture of the business and get what they need for reporting to auditors. Customer service can look up information for processing refunds. The CEO and CFO can quickly run reports and provide information to board members and stakeholders. Any department can have access to their numbers to help them plan their budget.

As well as quick access to data, there are far better insights available into how your company is doing. You don’t have to manually add countless paper invoices. Just open up your software and get any data needed for exceptionally clear and valuable analytics.

7) Scalable

It’s impossible to scale efficiently with paper files and manual processes. Invoicing automation can replace paper filing systems and huge storage rooms full of filing cabinets.

Cloud-based software can grow with you no matter how far your business expands in the future.

8) Integrates with your existing systems

The best AP automation software can be easily integrated into your favorite system. Whether you would prefer a pre-built integration ready to plug-and-play or a custom-built integration, the flexibility of Rossum’s software can match your unique needs.

The Rossum system can be migrated into your existing workflows and legacy systems within hours.

9) Environmentally friendly

You no longer need to use paper, printer ink, or cartridges. Not only is this more cost-effective for your business, but it’s also better for the environment. Paper production adds to deforestation, among other problems, and it’s far better to ditch it in place of easy access to everything in the Cloud.

10) Secure

Rossum’s cloud-based system is highly secure, and can go above and beyond what an IT department might have implemented for a company server. We provide continuous patches and updates and regularly back up your data.

An AP software can provide you with a range of options for processing your invoices. You don’t have to worry about security or fraud. The Rossum system ensures that every invoice is efficiently processed and paid on time.

With Rossum, you can streamline your AP processing and receive highly accurate data to provide you with top-quality analysis. An AP automation software is the gold standard for accounts payable.

How to choose an Accounts Payable Automation solution

The first thing to do when choosing new accounts automation software is to analyze your own current processes. Look at where you have any problems or gaps in your service and analyze any inefficiencies.

With a full picture of what you already have, you can then decide what you need instead. The next step for finding the right AP automation software is looking for the right features for your team. Find the right software that handles everything efficiently for you.

Your new software should be easy to use with an intuitive interface. It should have fast setup and quick onboarding with little training before everyone is up and running with it. It should integrate smoothly with your existing systems and legacy software.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who uses AP Automation software?

Companies still using a manual invoice process are prime candidates for AP automation software. Really, any company that processes invoices can make great use of this software. The benefits of switching to a professional invoice processing software are enormous, including time and money saved.

How do I know it’s time to update AP software?

If you are drowning in paper invoices and your team has no time to do any of the other vital tasks they should be doing, it’s time to give AP software a look. You don’t have to waste time on manual data entry and analysis when it comes to your invoices. You can use a cloud-based system that frees your staff up to do the important work.

What are the accounts payable process?

The accounts payable process begins when the invoice is received into the system. It is then captured and reviewed. It is matched to the purchase order, and if everything is correct, it is approved, coded correctly to the right department, and then paid.

What is the difference between Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable?

While accounts payable refers to a company’s obligation to pay off debt, the term accounts receivable refers to the money that is due to a business that has not yet been paid. Both terms account for money that is to be paid in the short term.

What is AP Automation software?

This software allows you to scan and process invoices quickly, without manual input. This software streamlines the whole AP process for more efficiency and better insights and analysis.

Turn Accounts Payable into a profit center

Process invoices 8× more efficiently with AI-powered data capture technology. Replace slow, error-prone manual data entry with fast technology that gets more accurate with use.