A Beginner's Guide to AR/AP Automation

Posted on March 24, 2023

Our popular Beginners Guide to AR (Accounts Receivable) and AP (Accounts Payable) automation has been revised to reflect the most up-to-date information for 2023. 

We’ve compiled some of the best resources focusing on what AR/AP automation solutions enterprises should look for and how to start building a business case. 

Our goal with this guide is to provide the insight and resources businesses need to navigate the process of implementing AR/AP automation.  We discuss how to define the business need and how to determine the return on investment. 

This free downloadable guide offers up a different aspect for consideration. 

• The importance of AP Automation when it comes to business growth

• The common cash flow problems AR and AP Automation addresses 

• The mistakes to avoid when moving toward implementing AP Automation

• The role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) within AR and AP digitization

• The benefits of integrating A/R solutions in your platform

The Future is Automated 

4,410 chief executives say “evolve or die,” according to PwC’s global CEO survey

Today’s businesses need the ability to scale at a pace never seen before. Pre-digitization, pre-automation, and pre-pandemic companies managed successfully enough with predominantly manual processes.  That is no longer the case. 

Nearly 70% of businesses will spend more on software this year. 

Across the board, industries need to start looking at quantifying the qualitative. Specifically, companies need to find ways to reduce the amount of time their workers spend on non-strategic tasks.

The accounts payable automation industry is booming thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), mass cloud adoption and APIs. In fact, by 2029, the market is expected to hit somewhere in the ballpark of USD 6 Billion.

What To Look For In Accounting Automation Solutions 

AR/AP automation, at its core, will increase productivity, save time and resources and allow businesses to eliminate most if not all, AP cheque printing. Across industries it can be easily seen that technology speeds up approvals across industries and eliminates the dreaded manual invoicing and data entry.

A high-quality AR and AP automation solution will include the following:

• Secure real-time payments

• Automated invoicing and workflow approvals

• Comprehensive audit trails and record-keeping

• Increased cash flow visibility

• Accounting integrations

• Recurring payment capabilities

• Automatic accounting reconciliation

This means more time spent growing your business and less managing payments.

Get Started: Build The Business Case for Account Payable Automation

Several areas of finance, including accounts receivable and accounts payable, are cumbersome and bogged down by legacy issues. While the processes are known to be complex, paper-based and filled with hurdles, they sit in the comfort zone for most organizations. For a successful automation rollout, getting the buy-in from all team members, especially the accounting department, is vital. 

Illustrate both the operational and team wins that can be expected; employees will likely welcome getting rid of the repetitive manual tasks around data entry.

Leading accounting software provider Xero outlines the five benefits companies can expect when automating accounts payable. 

Define The Need For  AR/AP Automation

Do the research. Introducing automation helps organizations become top performers. 

With AP invoice automation, a single invoice can be processed at 76% lower costs, 81% faster speed, and a 60% lower exception rate. As a team, determine which AR and AP functions could and should be automated. The deep dig, dive, and discover is a crucial step overlooked. Look at the AR and AP processes that are causing issues and frustration.

Hint: Those that often result in bottlenecks make an excellent starting point. From there, find the data that backs the findings. 

The ability of every accounting department to securely access real-time data is crucial. Doing away with the on-prem solution and using a cloud-based service eliminates the processes slowing you down and costing you money.

Questions to ask during the automation fact-finding mission:

1) How many steps are in the current AR/AP workflow from start to finish?

2) How many invoices do we process per day, per week, and per year?

3) How many employees are managing invoices? And how much time do they spend on this task?

What To Look For In A New Solution

It is essential to know and prioritize the must-have benefits to ensure the right pain points are addressed. 

Questions to ask: 

• Will the software likely meet the company’s needs in the next five years?  

• Is it scalable? 

• Will the software scale with the current growth trajectory?

• Does the provider’s roadmap indicate trends? 

A concept so simple, eliminate manual invoicing and data entry, reduce risk, and fix a process that consumes workforce hours

Start reaping the enormous benefits by introducing automation into your business. 

Download Your Free Copy Now

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