The final installment of our popular AR (Accounts Receivable) and AP (Accounts Payable) digitization series puts the focus on how enterprises can get the ball rolling with AR/AP automation solutions. AR/AP automation, at its core, will increase productivity, save time, resources and allow businesses to cut 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.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve provided insight and resources to help businesses navigate the process of implementing AR/AP automation. Each article offers up a different aspect for consideration.
- Three common cash flow problems and how AR/AP automation helps.
- The four mistakes enterprise companies should avoid when moving their technology to AP Automation.
- The importance of AP automation for business growth.
- The changing role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) within AR and AP digitization.
In this article, we look at AR/AP automation solutions to look for, how to get started and build a business case. We then address how to define the business need and determine the return on investment. We wrap up the series illustrating the benefits of integrating A/R solutions in your platform.
AR/AP automation solutions to look for
AR and AP automation solutions should include the following offerings:
- 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.
Build a Business Case for AP Automation
Involve all the stakeholders. Getting the buy-in from all team members is essential, especially the accounting department. This is critical to your success. AP automation software leader, Beanworks delivers an excellent business case guideline to follow here.
Define the need for your AR/AP automation
Do the research. As a team, determine which AR and AP functions could and should be automated. The deep dig, dive, and discover is a crucial step that often tends to get overlooked. Look to 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 for 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 your 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, per year?
3) How many employees are managing invoices? And how much time do they spend on this task?
Determine the Return on Investment (ROI)
Now that the research is complete calculate your ROI. Consider the total cost of the solution in question and then examine the savings.
Time Savings = All hours spent on data entry, processing payments and approval processes. Note: Don’t forget to include any bottlenecks that have now been corrected.
Cost Savings = Employees are no longer involved in arduous, time-consuming manual processes. They can now spend that time on more exciting projects. And cheques, no more costs associated with postage, printing, and other administrative tasks.
Once an enterprise has integrated an automated program, other savings will pop up. Offering payment discounts for customers that pay early or in full is a win-win. Customers feel appreciated, and the business can use those funds sooner. A solution that has never been possible or workable before.
You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it first. Make sure you do the same with your new software. Test the adaptability of software during the vendor demonstration to ensure it solves the issues at hand.
Check that the software is compatible with all invoices and accounting workflows. Keep a list of needs and ensure the software complements the business and accounting process. For example: if the focus is workload management, choose an AR/AP solution that enables accountants to manage large numbers of invoices.
All software solutions have tremendous benefits, but if it doesn’t do what you need it to do, it will not be of much use to you.
VoPay AR/AP Automation Solutions Enhancement
Streamline your end-to-end accounts receivable process and partner with VoPay to help you:
- Get paid faster
- Save resources
- Gain deeper insights into your business
- Build stronger relationships with your customers.
Our payment platform transforms how enterprise companies manage their payment processing. VoPay partners choose us because of our best-in-class API payment technology and Open Banking verification solutions.
VoPay offers embedded payment methods to complement all AR/AP automation solutions. Including ACH, same-day EFT, Interac e-Transfers, Visa Direct, and Credit Cards.