What are the main goals for your business? Do you want to increase productivity, raise revenue, and also grow your business? Oftentimes it can be difficult to discern a business trend from legitimate strategies with proven results. One way to increase your productivity that is here to stay is to transition to a paperless accounts payable process.
The entire point of the AP department is to pay bills and invoices for a business. This task, while seemingly quite simple, requires an extraordinary amount of effort, manpower, and money. Broken down into its most basic parts, there are two ways to achieve this task: with paper and without.
The Downside of Using Paper
There are many negatives to using an accounts payable process that uses paper. First of all, it costs more to process invoices with paper. According to FreshBooks, it can cost up to $15 to process an invoice with paper. This amount can jump to nearly $40 for larger companies.
You are also more likely to have human errors with a paper system. Human error is always an issue, no matter what system you are using. However, with a paperless system, less people are involved with accounts payable, and so there are fewer opportunities for errors.
Going paperless is a much better eco-friendly solution. Paper accounts for 26% of all waste in landfills. The deforestation caused by our mindless utilization of paper can have a devastating effect. Trees are needed to produce oxygen and to protect the world from additional Global Warming.
The Benefits of Automating the Accounts Payable Process
In addition to it being more eco-friendly and more cost-effective, there are a lot of benefits you will find with this transition like:
- Faster payments – Adding software helps improve moving away from paper invoices. These further aids in receiving potential early payment discounts, no more worries about late fees, and overall greater cash flow. You can quickly email your clients for electronic payments.
- Significant cost savings over time – Not only do paperless invoices cost less to process, but with paperless accounts payable, fewer employees are necessary. Some companies discover new roles and job titles for former AP workers in departments such as finance and accounting, analysis, internal processes, and business strategy. Improving your business processes by adding a streamlining the Approval process is a great way to reduce labor.
- More storage space – Get rid of paper processes and paper records. Legal requirements make it necessary to retain invoices for several years but the elimination of paper. Transitioning to a paperless system will give you more storage space as you won’t have to fill your office with clunky filing cabinets.
- Better customer relationships – With paperless invoicing, you’re able to customize more and create unique invoice templates for each client, if necessary. Clients are also sure to enjoy the added efficiency that a paperless accounts payable system provide.
Your team will be able to focus more on the actual accounts payable process rather than the tedious task of organizing and managing paperwork. They can spend more time improving processes and less time worrying about all the paper they have to keep track of. It’s also easier to review all of the accounts payable data at the end of the year.
Additional AP Automation Features
The AP automation services at Mosaic have quite a few beneficial features:
- Image capture – This saves your business in mailroom deliveries, envelopes to open, and postal charges that come with receiving invoices from remote offices.
- Intelligent data capture – You will no longer have to mess with manual data entry as there will be immediate tagging of all invoices.
- Approval and coding – This allows you to pay invoices in ¼ the time, capture discounts, and avoid late payment charges.
- Posting and paying – This saves you from the manual data entry into your ERP, and it simplifies the vendor payment process.
- Storing and retrieving – No file cabinets or filing supplies, massive space recovery, and no Iron Mountain relationships.
- Want to learn more? Have a look at AP automation explained.
How to Make the Transition
Once you’ve made the decision to try accounts payable process automation, there are a few key steps to follow to make the transition go smoother.
- Identify your goals. The first thing you need to do is pinpoint your specific reasons for transitioning into a paperless accounts payable process. Whether it’s to cut costs, reduce errors, increase efficiency, or free up staff, identifying your goals will ensure that everyone is on the same page and provide clarity for the entire team moving forward. It will also be easier to track your progress and measure your success.
- Communicate with your team. Once your goals have been identified by each department, make sure everyone is in the agreement including leadership and management. By setting expectations and getting everyone on board, you can minimize future conflicts, as well as include any potential concerns from other employees through collaboration and integration. It is always great to look at each step to implement a new system.
- Find a system that works for your office. When searching for the best AP automation services for your business, you want to make sure you’ll be able to integrate with your accounting software seamlessly and have the capability of handling a large number of payments, invoices, and transactions.
Moving Forward with Accounts Payable Process Automation
Getting everyone on board and transitioning accounts payable from a paper document to paperless is one of the smartest decisions an organization can make in a world where automation and digital technology rule. By following this simple guide, you can ensure that the process takes place as easily and seamlessly as possible so that you can spend less time on manual processes, and more on doing what you do best: running your business.