For many organizations, accounts payable (AP) automation is a hot topic. And for good reason—it can save time and money while improving visibility into your cash flow. But what exactly is AP automation? What are the benefits? And how has it evolved over time? Let’s take a closer look.
AP automation refers to the process of automating the accounts payable function within a business. This can be done using on-premises software or cloud based solutions. Some of the most common features of AP automation solutions include electronic invoicing, data capture, and intelligent workflows.
The benefits of AP automation are numerous. Perhaps most importantly, it can help businesses improve their bottom line by reducing the amount of time and money spent on manual tasks associated with accounts payable. In addition, AP automation can help businesses improve their visibility into cash flow, allowing them to make more informed decisions about where to allocate their resources. Finally, AP automation can also help businesses improve their compliance with auditing and tax regulations.
How AP Automation Has Changed Over Time
Accounts payable automation has come a long way since its inception in the early 2000s. In the beginning, AP automation solutions were mostly on-premises software solutions that required businesses to purchase and maintain expensive hardware infrastructure. They were also difficult to implement and use, requiring significant IT resources to get up and running.
The cloud has transformed the way businesses operate. It has made it possible for organizations to be more agile, efficient and effective. One of the key areas that has seen a major transformation is Accounts Payable (AP).
Traditionally, AP has been a paper-based process that is manual, time-consuming and prone to error. This often results in late payments, which can damage supplier relationships and negatively impact cash flow.
Over time, however, AP automation solutions have become more sophisticated and user-friendly. Today, cloud based solutions dominate the market, and they are much easier to implement than their on-premises counterparts. Additionally, many cloud AP solutions come with mobile apps that allow users to access and manage their accounts payable function from anywhere at any time.
Cloud AP Automation & Cloud AP Benefits
With the advent of cloud based AP automation solutions, businesses are now able to streamline and digitalize their AP processes. This has numerous benefits, including:
– Reduced processing time and costs
– Increased accuracy and visibility
– Improved supplier relations
– Enhanced cash flow management
Cloud based AP automation solutions work by integrating with a business’s existing ERP or financial system. This allows invoices to be captured electronically and routed for approval via a digital workflow. Once approved, the invoices are then automatically processed for payment.
This means that businesses no longer have to rely on paper invoices and manual processes. This not only saves time and money, but also reduces errors and improves visibility throughout the AP process.
Cloud AP Benefits
The move to cloud based solutions has taken AP automation to a whole new level. cloud based AP automation solutions offer a number of advantages over on-premise solutions, including:
Improved efficiency: cloud based AP automation solutions are designed to be highly efficient, with features such as automated workflows and intelligent document capture. This means that AP teams can spend less time on manual tasks and more time on strategic tasks that add value to the business.
Increased visibility: cloud based solutions offer real-time visibility into the AP process. cloud based solutions offer real-time visibility into the AP process, so you can see exactly where each invoice is at any given time. This helps to improve efficiency and prevent errors. In addition, you can easily track spending and spot trends that could help you save money in the future.
This means that organizations can identify issues and bottlenecks quickly and take corrective action.
Scalability: cloud based AP automation is also highly scalable. This means that it can be easily adapted to meet the changing needs of a business, as well as accommodating growth.
Improved security: cloud based solutions offer robust security features, such as data encryption and user authentication. This helps to protect your data from unauthorized access and ensures that only authorized users can access your AP system.
Cloud based solutions offer enhanced security, with features such as data encryption and user authentication. This helps to protect sensitive data from cyber threats.
Looking Toward the Future
The future of AP automation looks bright. As more businesses adopt cloud based solutions, the industry will continue to grow and evolve. We can expect to see more innovation in the areas of data capture and artificial intelligence (AI). Additionally, as regulations surrounding compliance continue to tighten, we can expect to see more businesses turn to AP automation solutions to help them meet their obligations in this area.
While AP automation is nothing new, the move to cloud based solutions has taken AP automation to a whole new level. cloud based AP automation solutions offer a number of advantages over on-premise solutions, including improved efficiency and scalability. Additionally, cloud based solutions are typically more affordable than on-premise solutions and offer greater flexibility in terms of deployment and integration. For businesses looking to streamline their AP operations, cloud based AP automation solutions are definitely worth considering.
The benefits of cloud based AP automation are clear. However, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed, such as the high cost of solution implementation and the lack of skilled personnel. Nonetheless, the advantages of cloud based AP automation far outweigh the disadvantages, making it a compelling option for organizations looking to improve their AP processes.
If you’re thinking about implementing an AP automation solution for your business, now is a great time to do it. Thanks to advances in technology, today’s solutions are more user-friendly and easier to implement than ever before—not to mention more affordable. And with so many benefits—including improved bottom lines, better visibility into cash flow, and increased compliance—it’s hard to think of a good reason not to automate your accounts payable function.
So why wait? Contact us today to learn more about how our cloud based solution can help your business streamline its accounts payable function.