Accounts Payable Automation : 11 point checklist

Nalaka Withanage Document Process Automation, Financial Process Automation

Accounts Payable process can be a cumbersome, time-intensive when done manually, not to mention prone to human error, delayed actions, and ultimately late payments resulting in more expenses for the company. Cloud-based accounts payable automation solution reduce manual work, accelerate invoice processing, improve supplier experience and gain greater financial control. If you are planning to automate your accounts payable process, the following checklist will help you to find the most suitable AP automation solution for your organisational unique requirements.

1. ROI Calculation : Will the proposed AP solution save money?

Before you start looking for a solution, you need to determine your current processing cost per invoice. There’s a higher chance that if you’re still using physical invoices, this number would be high and need improvement. Calculate the total cost of your AP process after automation. This will help you choose the solution that will reduce operational costs.

2. Ingestion : What sort of files does the AP solution recognise?

Invoices can come in several different formats, including document downloadable links, EDI, XML, PDFs, DOCX etc. Identifying the file types your company uses for invoices will help you choose which solution to use. A solution that doesn’t support link downloading (xero, myob) will not accept invoices in that format.

3. Multisite: How can the solution handle businesses with multiple locations/sites?

Certain businesses have several locations in their name. Each will need AP services, so it’s best to find a cloud solution that can handle them all.

4. Mobile approval: Can the solution provide a great experience on mobile?

 The world is evolving every day and there may come a time for much of the business to be handled on smartphones or tablets. Skip a future headache and consider mobile-friendly solutions to drive adoption within the organisation.

5. Seamless ERP integration: Can the AP solution upload approved invoice files and GL codes to ERP systems?

A solution that uploads approved invoice files automatically to the ERP system can save time and reduce the chance for errors to occur.

6. Machine Learning: Can the AP solution detect and auto-code repetitive vendor invoices?

 A solution that can download GL files from the ERP system and automatically code repetitive invoices can both save time and reduce errors.

7. Payment status update :Can the AP solution receive payment files and attach to the paid invoices?

An assurance that an invoice is paid is the payment information attached to it. A solution that connects the info automatically to the invoices can eliminate the need to call up vendors regarding payment.

8. Supplier portal :Is there a supplier portal in the AP solution?

Giving suppliers a way to review their invoices’ status in the payment process eliminates the need for them to call the AP team – reducing supplier enquiries.

9.Invoice search:Does the AP solution include an excellent search system?

Excellent user experience includes reducing wasted time, and one such time-waster in this instance is searching for specific invoices. Consider an AP solution with an accurate search system, so you don’t need to scroll through files of invoices to find one specifically.

10. Audit log: Does the solution keep an audit log?

Keeping track of payments from beginning to end is an essential asset against a client meticulous about the status of their invoices or when it’s time for an external audit.

11. Reporting: How much detail does the solution offer in regards to reports?

 A business would be hard-pressed to strive for efficiency without analytics. Consider an AP solution that provides full visibility of the payable process via real-time analytics. 

Are you looking for a complete AP automation solution as a cloud offering? 

Check out DC2hub

As the Co-founder and CTO of Data Capture Experts, Nalaka is responsible for the company’s product strategy and customer success. His team builds DC2Vue® platform and provide intelligent process automation solutions for organisations in regulated industries. Nalaka has a broad base of fundamental skills in successful collaboration and communication both at business and technical level decision makers to convert the business needs into pragmatic & sustainable business solutions. He is a certified SCRUM master in agile solution delivery. Nalaka graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunication engineering from the University of Moratuwa. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three children.