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What should you look for in AP automation software?

What should you look for in AP automation software?

Choosing the right accounts payable automation solution is a significant business decision. The right software can facilitate better cash flow management, reduce costs, and improve productivity.

But what key features should you look for when deciding on the right software and could AP automation be the right solution for you? 

What are the advantages of AP automation? 

Whereas a traditional, paper-based accounts payable approach is manually intensive and time-consuming, AP automation streamlines the whole process, as the interface is optimised for speed at each step. Finance leaders can reduce the time spent on data entry to free up capacity for other tasks. Other advantages include: 

  • Employee productivity improvements by 5x
  • Reduces human errors from manually re-keying data
  • Helps ensure invoices are paid on time and accurately, improving relationships with suppliers and avoiding late payment penalties
  • Improved financial visibility and reporting
  • Reduces compliance risks and security concerns
  • Control cash flow effectively for no surprises
  • Automated receipt of email invoices
  • Routing to buyers for authorisation
  • Invoice coding for improved tracking and spend management

What key features should you look for in AP automation software?

Invoice and document management 

Effective AP automation software will facilitate secure invoice and document management in one place. This is essential for maintaining accurate financial records and simplifying everyday AP processes. Software with document management functionality allows supporting documents or contracts to be attached to invoices, which can help with referencing and resolving queries if they arise. 

Approval workflows

Invoice approval is a crucial step in your AP process. Automating approval workflows can present a number of advantages, boosting efficiency without sacrificing control. Relying on manual, paper-based approvals can make businesses vulnerable to errors, inefficiencies, and fraud. Choosing AP automation software with automated invoice approvals helps to… 

  • Support timely payments and thereby strengthen supplier relationships and reduce support enquiries
  • Reduce the time and costs associated with processing invoice approvals, ensuring accountability and visibility with the business owner
  • Eliminate the need for humans to keep track and chase approvals manually 

Robust reporting and analytics 

Choosing AP automation software with strong reporting capabilities allows finance leaders to better control budgets. It also reduces tedious and labour-intensive administrative tasks for their teams, freeing them up for more skill-based projects. Rather than compiling reports manually, choosing finance automation software with built-in reporting dashboards offers financial visibility at a glance. Identify trends and new opportunities for growth and pinpoint areas for improvement for overall smarter, data-driven decisions. 

Seamless integrations

A key consideration when choosing the right AP automation software is whether it can integrate with your existing ERP system(s).

If you have to manually transfer data between systems, you won’t reap all the time-saving and efficiency benefits of AP automation. Selecting software that integrates with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other critical systems, will help to centralise your data and speed up existing processes. 

Explore the return on investment (ROI) of finance automation

Implementing AP automation software in your organisation often presents a significant ROI and a number of crucial benefits to your everyday financial operations. It will reduce costs by up to 90%, and allow the time taken for manual data entry tasks to be reallocated to other critical projects. Download our free eBook now, as we explore the advantages and ROI of AP automation. 

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