Improving your Accounts Payable (AP) processes can reduce errors, save time, and nurture better relationships with your suppliers. Here are our 3 tips for creating a streamlined, efficient Accounts Payable department.
1) Implement Invoice Automation
Invoice automation can give huge efficiency benefits, processing the bulk of your invoices for you and leaving only the exceptions for your AP team to deal with. This saves a substantial amount of time, freeing up your AP team up for more proactive tasks. For many businesses, late payments also pose real problems. Pay.UK estimates that £23 billion is owed in late payments to SMEs in the UK, while the cost of pursuing unpaid invoices exceeds £4 billion a year. Invoice automation allows businesses to more closely follow the Prompt Payment Code; that is, 1) Pay suppliers on time, 2) Give clear guidance to suppliers, and 3) Encourage good practice. This means using technology to automate the process from invoice receipt to posting in your ERP system. Suppliers’ invoices can be received in any format or language via e-invoicing, email or post, so any solution or service must be able to automate all inbound methods. Data checking, line-item matching and auto-posting of compliant invoices is the key driver to achieve cost savings, so the solution has to be flexible to cope with the way your ERP system is setup for purchasing of different goods/services. Invoices that fail auto-posting must be launched on workflows automatically, which leaves Accounts Payable with only the real exceptions to manage. Using analytics will provide insights to what the remaining issues are, providing the focus to drive continuous improvement to automation rates. KPI dashboards with goals enable you to track performance and trends over time. This can make a real difference to your AP department, meaning you can:
- Improve payment on time.
- Drive cost savings
- Improve the process for business users
- Enhance supplier relationships
2) Proactively Reconcile Supplier Statements
Reconciling supplier statements proactively ensures that supplier balances are accurate and helps detect discrepancies such as missing invoices/credits, miss-postings and duplicates. Manual supplier statement reconciliation is prohibitively time consuming, but this process can now be automated. Statement-Matching.com provides an easy-to-use supplier statement reconciliation platform – it lets you proactively reconcile supplier statements, quickly identify and resolve errors, and reduce payment delays.
3) Implement Software To Prevent Duplicate Payments
Duplicate payments to suppliers can go undetected or at best e time-consuming and costly to resolve. The easiest way to avoid duplicate payments is to prevent them in the first place and this can be implemented using cloud based Duplicate-Matching.com. This automated duplicate checking platform provides reports that list potential duplicates that came into your ERP system the previous day. The daily process is to clear the reports down by either dismissing as not a duplicate or reversing genuine duplicates to prevent them being paid. Reports are also provided to list duplicates that have been paid with workflow to manage the recovery process. The combination of prevention and recovery enables you to maintain your bottom line as well as avoid 3rd party audit recovery costs and ensure
How Cogent Consulting Can Help You Revolutionise Your AP Department
At Cogent Consulting, we offer practical solutions that can improve your accounts payable processes, including integrated statement matching and duplicate checking software. To learn more about how our services could improve your AP systems, give one of our AP specialists a call today.