The Benefits of Automated Transaction Approval and Completion

It’s no secret that business leaders rely on data for decision-making. The problem is that these decisions often require complex and time-consuming implementation processes.

Payment automation allows companies to optimize their accounts payable process with centralized invoice capture and real-time visibility. This also ensures compliance and visibility throughout the entire process.

Improved Accuracy

Inaccuracies can be a major pain point for organizations when executing decision-making. Even the simplest mistake can lead to inconsistencies that affect other parts of the process and result in costly mistakes later on, especially during balance sheet reconciliations. The risk of errors and imbalances increases as you increase the number of steps in a process, so it’s important to reduce these errors and ensure that all processes run smoothly.

Manual invoice approval workflows often involve accounts payable (AP) sending matched invoices to the correct approvers and observers based on multiple criteria, including vendor, amount, GL code, and more. This complex, time-consuming process can leave the team to spend extra time resolving supplier inquiries and concerns.

Automated transaction approval and completion eliminates paperwork by allowing the team to access and review invoices from anywhere, on any device. This helps the AP department speed up payment processes and gives suppliers more visibility into when their payments will be made.

Additionally, AP automation tools can pre-populate data on invoices that are ready for payment, allowing employees to get paid faster and reducing the time spent on administrative tasks. This enables the AP team to focus on value-added activities and accelerate end-to-end payments while improving the organization’s cash flow.

Reduced Costs

Inaccurate transactions and delayed payments can lead to many costly problems. With automated transaction approval and completion, the risk of error decreases, and a company can save money by being more efficient.

Automated AP eliminates paper and manual steps in the invoice processing, providing real-time visibility into the status of invoices awaiting approval. This can help to reduce a company’s carbon footprint and allow finance teams to focus on accruals reporting and faster month-end closes.

Manual approval processes often involve countless steps, leading to bottlenecks and delays. An automated system allows users to easily set up rules to route an invoice to the right person, who can then access the centralized system to see its current status at any time. The ability to track and review all activity reduces errors and ensures that compliance requirements are followed.

Using an intercompany solution also allows users to streamline and centralize all transaction records, corresponding journal entries, statuses, supporting documents, currencies, transfer pricing rules, and policies in one location.

This helps to reduce the risk of errors and inconsistencies between systems and makes it easier for employees to meet deadlines and comply with regulatory requirements. By eliminating repetitive tasks, a company can also reengage employees in their core areas of responsibility and drive productivity where it matters most.

Improved Customer Service

Having a process that eliminates manual steps and allows employees to use their skills and talents in more meaningful ways is an excellent way to boost employee morale. Mundane tasks are less burdensome, and employees have more time to focus on other objectives, such as developing processes that will improve the business’s overall performance.

Once an invoice is verified and ready for payment, the automated system can notify the appropriate person or department for approval. This can be based on several criteria, including a predetermined threshold for dollar amounts or vendor names. This allows for timely reviews and prevents an invoice from missing the deadline to take advantage of early-payment discounts.

The AP automation system can also match invoice data against corresponding purchase orders and delivery receipts to identify any discrepancies that must be resolved. It can also flag duplicate invoices and facilitate electronic collaboration with suppliers to resolve any issues. This provides a high level of accuracy, which reduces costs and enhances a company’s image among its supplier community.

If an approver needs to dispute a bill, a comment can be provided to explain the decision, and a new routing process can be initiated. The AP automation system maintains an audit trail of all decisions made throughout the approval process.

Improved Compliance

Payment reconciliation is an accounting process that ensures a company’s internal records of payments owed and due match the transactions recorded on statements from its bank, credit cards, and other financial institutions. It helps companies know exactly how much cash they have, enabling them to make informed decisions that drive business growth.

Accounts payable automation streamlines invoice processing and approvals, mitigating the risk of human errors that can lead to financial discrepancies. It also makes it easier to make timely payments, strengthens vendor relationships, and enhances AP transparency.

In the past, reconciling a manual payment process took time, often resulting in missed due dates and late fees. It was especially difficult when paper records were misplaced, or an approver went on vacation and left their approval in limbo.

Using an accounts payable automation system, units can update receipts in an automatic batch before submitting them for approval. For example, they can change the number of receipts per transaction or the exchange rate used for a specific transaction. They can also include or exclude receipts from the batch by deselecting them.

Additionally, an automated AP system provides a central location where all invoice communications can be recorded and tracked, from comments to questions to responses. This information is then linked to the corresponding invoice, making it easy for anyone to find at any time.

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