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What Is Accounts Payable Software? Get the Facts About AP Automation

Learn more about what accounts payable software does for businesses and why AP automation is a necessary investment to remain competitive in the future.

Accounts payable software is the system used for financial and accounting processes. Robust software helps companies eliminate manual accounting tasks and make the transition to AP automation. Choosing the right accounts payable software solution streamlines AP operations, improves accuracy, saves time, enables control of important financial processes and automates routine tasks. Plus, users get important notifications to avoid penalties associated with late payment or failure to comply with applicable regulations. Best of all, the AP team and C-suite have greater control over the company’s numbers.

Save Time and Stay in the Game

Accounts payable software eliminates the tedious manual processing that overworks and lowers productivity of the AP team. The same tasks are performed via AP automation in a fraction of the time, freeing up the time for the AP team to work on strategic initiatives. Saving time helps companies save money and stay in the game as companies around the world adopt AP automation solutions. It is crucial to choose tailored accounts payable software that does exactly what your organization needs for the smoothest possible transition from manual processing.

However appealing they may seem, a one-size-fits-all solution is almost never the right choice for optimum productivity, flexibility, and scalability. Take into consideration all the features the software offers and verify that the problems it solves are matched with your business’ most important needs. In general, accounts payable software batches and sorts invoices based on captured invoice data, generates analysis reports, provides approval workflow, performs document imaging, and saves and manages relevant financial content. Plus, AP automation ensures compliance to avoid fees and fines due to a lack of control over financial data and operations. And AP automation makes audits a breeze, a process that once took endless hours and effort to complete.

Discover the Various Types of Accounts Payable Software

Once the AP team and C-suite recognize the need to transition to AP automation, it’s essential to understand the various types of accounts payable software tools available today including:

  • On-premise programs that are hosted on the company’s local server.
  • Cloud-based AP programs that provide universal access without the need to pay for ongoing maintenance and updates are made automatically.
  • Software-as-a-service (Saas) AP programs that are hosted on the provider’s server and paid for by the company on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, which has a bit of overlap with cloud-based AP programs.
  • Built-in automation within the ERP (comes out of the box, usually, with the ERP for light/minimal efficiency gains - this is not the most accessible or robust solution.

Financial teams around the globe are discovering the benefits of cloud-based AP automation, such as access to data during storms or vacations, fast payment approvals, real-time data, and automatic updates so the software is always up-to-date. Using accounts payable software plays a significant role in the necessary digital transformation. As more organizations adopt AP automation, clients, stakeholders, and vendors will expect your organization to use it, too.

Act Based on the Financial Facts

As automation takes over, the days of estimates and projections are over. With cloud-based AP automation and customized accounts payable software, the C-suite and financial team have instant access to pertinent financial data in real-time. This level of access makes collaboration easy, regardless of location and time. Having the latest data helps the team make educated decisions based on financial facts rather than speculation.

With the smart use of accounts payable software, companies get total control over transactions for optimum accuracy. Everyone on the team can work with timely data to best manage cashflows with immediate access to balances, bills, invoices, and vendor data. Other options that improve financial control include the ability to generate comprehensive reports, manage inventory, and claim expenses. And maximizing the use of all of these features helps companies boost working capital.

Discover the Benefits of Accounts Payable Software

Companies are recognizing the benefits of choosing the right accounts payable software. One is making a minimal investment to realize a measurable ROI, often within a year. Such a rapid ROI is a direct reflection of a targeted, streamlined solution; a best-of-breed solution that tackles a distinct part of the financial process in accounts payable. Plus, there is quick deployment with a minimal learning curve when companies adopt cutting-edge AP automation solutions.

With accounts payable software, organizations achieve a higher level of efficiency and accountability while saving time and human resources. The AP team enjoys a better quality of work, focusing on thoughtful tasks such as finding money-saving opportunities from vendors. Sophisticated software offers a full range of features to maximize an organization’s resources and maintain optimum accuracy in operations. And it reduces or eliminates the errors associated with manual processing.

Companies Without Accounts Payable Software Will Be Left Behind

Accounts payable software can be classified into the cloud/SaaS/web-based type and the installed type. According to the Digital Journal, the revenue market of cloud/SaaS/web-based accounts payable software took up over 88% of the global market in 2017. And North America and Europe are the two largest consumption regions of accounts payable software in the world in the past few years. Experts expect this number will keep increasing in the next few years, which means failure to adopt automation will leave a company in the dark ages of AP processing.

The global accounts payable software market is expected to reach $1,680 million by the end of 2024. Failure to adopt AP automation now means a company will be left behind in the near future, as other businesses realize the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of using accounts payable software. There’s no better time than the present to shop around for AP automation solutions. Innovative options fit into any organization’s operations and budget.

Accounts payable software performs many of the routine manual tasks once done by humans. The implementation of AP automation saves time and money, boosts productivity, and improves accuracy and efficiency. The AP team spends their time on more strategic processes to help the organization cut costs and improve the bottom line. Start planning for the digital transformation now to avoid scrambling to find a solution after all your competitors already found one.

AP automation is here to stay. Instead of questioning its value, embrace the possibilities. After a fast learning curve, the advantages of adopting AP automation become evident. And within a year, they will be measurable, making a difference in the profitability of your company.

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