Don’t Let Your Invoices Haunt You Anymore

A worried female CFO at her desk with short brown hair and glasses. Ghost-like invoices with translucent edges float around her and emerge from the computer screen in a tense, dimly lit office setting

Ever lie awake at night with a gnawing feeling that you lack control over the numbers of your accounts payable? Or do you have that haunting feeling that inbound invoices keep slipping through your fingers, disappearing in somebody’s inbox? 

Do you know whether or not you are receiving duplicate invoices, and lack the right tools to mitigate the risk of fraud? 

To make your invoice approval process transparent and get a full overview of your accounts payable, automation bears a promise of easing your haunted mind. 

Here are ten benefits of automating your invoice approval process: 

1. Connection To Your Other Financial Systems

When your invoice approval process is connected to your accounting system, you will get real-time information about where in the approval cycle your invoices are. Allowing you to identify bottlenecks in the accounts payable process, makes it possible to mitigate risk in a whole new way. With automation, the moment an invoice has been approved, it is transferred to the accounting system for payment according to the due date, and bookkeeping in your ERP system. 

2. AI and Machine Learning Improves Quality of Tasks

The tasks that are improved and made better with AI and advanced automation are many. For instance, AI excels at scenarios with large datasets and a need for interpreting invoices. Another example is sending invoices for approval by one or more individuals, where AI can determine the appropriate recipients. Additionally, automating the allocation of invoices is an area where AI can assist. Also, AI can help identify irregularities in invoices, such as unusually high or low amounts, or changes in the goods and services being billed for.

3. Advanced Analysis Supports Strategic Decisions

One of the major upsides of automating your invoice processing systems is that data, advanced analysis, and reporting capabilities within the system will be available at your fingertips. This means no more waiting for whatever report you need, or lacking insight when you want to optimize your processes. You will have information on things like spending trends, vendor performance analysis, and other areas of your P2P cycle readily available when you need it. 

4. Support for Compliance and Regulatory Demands

Financial regulations and standards keep evolving, and keeping up with the ever-changing landscape can be difficult. Automation offers the benefit of a systematic approach to this problem, as the system you use will be updated and compliant at any given time. If your company operates globally, keeping up on a global scale with your international vendors, and helping them to be compliant throughout the P2P process will be of great benefit to both you and them. 

5. Audit Trails and Transparent Processes 

When automating your accounts payable processes, you will get a system that makes auditing, whether internal or external, easy. Retrieval of the reports you need to be compliant with regulatory requirements will be an easy task. Also, you will have full insight into the historical data of your processes, all invoices, name of approvers and vendors, and so much more, readily available in the system. 

6. Improvement of Cash Flow Management

Cash-flow management can improve significantly with automation. Invoices will be available immediately in the system, and information like payment terms and payment obligations will be accessible. Also, the approval processes will prevent unnecessary expenditures and reinforce control over cash outflows. Automated reminders to approvers guarantee timely approval. Errors, such as incorrect amounts or missing information are minimized, and further enhance cash flow management

7. Better Financial Forecasting

With a streamlined accounts payable system, you will achieve better financial forecasting, as you will have a clearer view of your accounts payable. Improved accuracy will lead to reliable financial forecasting through the reduction of human error in data entry and calculation. Real-time data access gives insight into the most recent information, mirroring the “here-and-now” situation at any given time. Additional benefits are enhanced invoice visibility, more efficient expense management, time and resource efficiency, and better supplier management through tracking of payment terms and historical information. 

8.  Risk Management Becomes Easier

With automation of the accounts payable process, all your invoices can flow through the system in a touchless workflow. The automated systems have functionality and tools that detect and flag unusual patterns and discrepancies, thereby flagging the invoice in question for human review. Detection of fraud and fraudulent activities becomes easier. Automated accounts payable systems also have inbuilt functionality for keeping up with tax laws and financial regulations, thereby avoiding legal issues and non-compliance. Also, the system can be programmed to adhere to internal policies regarding for instance spending limits and hierarchies of approval, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorised spending. 

9. Automated Accounts Payable Systems Scale and Adapt to Your Needs

An automated accounts payable system will grow or shrink with your business’s varying needs, whether it is due to seasonal changes in volume, or your business is growing. The system will handle the changes in volumes without a different need for resources or personnel. Also, the system can easily be adapted to your changing business needs over time, whether it be through integration with new ERP, CRM, or procurement systems, or adding new approval workflows, payment methods, or reporting features. 

10. Management of Vendor Relationships

When you standardise your processes and ensure timely payment and streamlined communication with your vendors, you will be in a better position to make your supply chain more efficient. The system will help you analyse vendor performance and reliability, thereby identifying risks like late deliveries, poor quality or pricing inconsistencies. This enables you to mitigate these risks, choose other vendors or renegotiate terms based on historical data. 

Automation of Your Accounts Payable Process is What You Need

All in all, if your invoices are keeping you up at night, and you feel that you lack insight into your accounts payable processes and that the amount of time you spend on manual, repetitive work instead of spending it on more strategic tasks, automation offers a solution that is worth looking into. The benefits mentioned above only touch on some of the areas where automation will support your processes, making them easier and more transparent, giving you ease of mind and a more cost-effective solution. 

If you find yourself losing sleep over your invoices and feeling frustrated with the lack of insight into your accounts payable processes  it’s time to consider automation. 

Spending excessive time on manual, repetitive tasks instead of focusing on strategic activities can be a major source of frustration. 

In addition, automation streamlines processes, making them more transparent and efficient. This not only brings peace of mind but also leads to a more cost-effective solution. Ultimately, automation ensures that all invoices are accounted for in the correct period, facilitating accurate financial reporting on a monthly basis.