Lockdown highlights automated Accounts Payable advantage

Published on the 26/05/2020 | Written by Fujifilm

Automated accounts payable_Fuji Xerox

Making sure those payments get through…

While the lockdown hasn’t been pleasant, it has shown how the wonders of modern technology equip many to maintain productivity even when far from the office. Notwithstanding, of course, the challenges of pets, small children and spouses!

Accounts Payable automation is among the cloud technologies which have delivered a real benefit. There’s a useful overview at pymnts.com explaining what AP is and how it provides advantages including mobility, efficiency and visibility of a key process.

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Now more than ever small suppliers need their invoices processed rapidly and payments made without delays or difficulties. Your business continuity with AP could well influence their business continuity with sustainable cashflow.

You don’t want unmanaged risk in the payments department.

But for many, this has proven challenging: if your AP system is set up for the office, and the office only, or if your AP process relies on paper invoices, the lockdown probably stopped the process altogether as Forbes explains here.

The problems with AP (and the solutions)
Research from Ardent Partners shows that most companies have three problems with AP: Exceptions, approvals taking too long, and excessive paper. Sound familiar? This was a problem for Ruralco, a company we worked with for the delivery of Esker automated AP.

It (Esker) just works. It has an app, it has delegation of authority, it has complete visibility. I can log-in with my phone and find any invoice, see where it is in the process, and even approve it, in seconds. Read the full case study from Ruralco.

Manual processes also mean risk – and you don’t want unmanaged risk in the payments department. When we delivered Esker for Property Brokers, it found that automation meant error-elimination and tighter controls. That’s confirmed by Financial Controller Lee Waller: “We have tighter restraints on what’s being put through. Everyone is paying very close attention to what they’re signing, and they’re far more accountable. It’s made our managers very happy as they have visibility and control of their costs.” Here’s the case study.

Know more, with ease
With automated AP, your process is entirely digital. Esker AP software doesn’t just give you the power of mobility and secure anywhere access, it also gives you the power of analysis and reporting. Combined with complete visibility, this means not only seeing where invoices are in the process, but also gaining insights which help optimise operations and better manage growth. It’s point 5 in this overview of ‘Five best practices for optimising your accounts payable workflow’.

There’s a lot to be gained from supercharging your AP with intelligent automation. Best of all, by gaining efficiency, people are relieved from error-prone manual work and can instead focus on other value-added activities.

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