Overcoming the Barriers to Invoice-to-Pay Automation

Posted by Greg Bartels on Nov 17, 2021 11:54:58 AM
Greg Bartels
The operational and strategic benefits of invoice-to-pay automation are proven.

Yet many businesses still rely on manual invoice approval and payment processes that cost too much, take too long, result in too many errors, provide inadequate visibility and frustrate suppliers.

It’s not that most businesses don’t want to automate their invoice-to-pay process. Invoice-to-Pay Automation

Improving business processes is the top priority of accounts payable professionals across industries and company sizes, research from the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) finds.

It’s that most businesses don’t know how to get their proposal for AP automation approved.

The good news is that SaaS-based invoice-to-pay solutions, including the AP Automation Solution from IPS, address the barriers preventing businesses from automating their invoice-to-pay process:

1. Little to no burden on internal resources:

Best-in-class invoice-to-pay solutions offer buyers and suppliers an easy migration from paper invoices and checks, without a significant IT burden. A single platform is used to process invoices submitted via the mail, e-mail, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) upload, supplier portal, or electronic data interchange (EDI). And the supplier enrollment services offered by some invoice-to-pay providers identify, contact, educate and enroll suppliers to accept electronic payments. What’s more, advanced electronic payment solutions offer flexibility for meeting supplier payment preferences.

2. Streamlined payment operations:

Invoice-to-pay solutions reduce costs by seamlessly integrating with any accounting or enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform and using a single file upload to initiate payments to all of a company’s suppliers; instructions are parsed, and payments are remitted in all payment methods. This eliminates the need to log in to multiple banking systems and cuts the cost of printing, handling and mailing paper checks.

3. Fewer errors:

SaaS-based invoice-to-pay solutions reduce the chances of costly AP errors. Technologies such as optical character recognition (OCR), enhanced with Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) and backed by human review, capture and validate header and line-item data from supplier invoices with a high degree of accuracy. And uploading a single file to initiate payments eliminates error-prone manual processes. Payment data is uploaded directly from the buyer’s ERP platform to the payment solution.

4. Low upfront and ongoing expense:

Technology budgets and IT resources are tight these days. SaaS-based invoice-to-pay solutions can be implemented without significant upfront investments in hardware and software. And the technology provider is responsible for software maintenance and upgrades, making the solution even more economical.

5. Revenue opportunities:

Accounts payable has traditionally been viewed as a cost center. But invoice-to-pay solutions can transform the function into a profit center. For starters, with invoice-to-pay solutions, businesses can earn cash-back rebates for supplier payments made with a virtual card. And the accelerated invoice approval cycle times provided through invoice-to-pay automation enables businesses to capture more early-payment discounts offered by suppliers. Even the standard early-payment discount of 2 percent adds up fast. Not to mention the immediate return on investment (ROI) most organizations see from the drastic decrease in their cost to process an invoice.

6. Manageable change:

Best-in-class invoice-to-pay solutions can be seamlessly integrated with existing ERP and accounting systems without changing the way users work.

All this makes invoice-to-pay automation fast, easy, and cost-effective for businesses of all sizes.

Are you looking to optimize your Accounts Payable process?

If so, IPS wants to speak with you. Contact us to chat with one of our payment experts.

 

FAQ

What are the benefits of accounts payable automation?

Why should I use IPS to automate invoice processing?

 

Tags: AP Workflow, Invoice Processing, AP Automation, Accounts Payable Workflow, AP Automation Solutions, Accounts Payable Automation, AP Supplier Payments