Automation is the name of the game if you want to remain competitive in the twenty-first century. Many businesses have already started automating various processes and are seeing positive benefits from their actions. Unfortunately, their AP (Accounts Payable) processes have not kept up.

It’s not for lack of interest. Consider how much time is involved just gathering the invoices for the AP process. Some may arrive in the mail, some must be downloaded and printed from various websites, and all need to be keyed into the accounting system. Then, they must be routed for approval and paid. It’s a time drain but one that’s necessary to keep the accounts in order (and pay the bills).

Why You Need to Automate Your AP Processes

Someday, historians will look back at the early 21st century and wonder why it took businesses so long to automate many processes, including the AP process. Part of the challenge when it comes to automating processes like AP is that it is a time-honored process. It works.

However, the typical AP process is time consuming. It requires a lot of manual steps, there’s room for error, and it uses an awful lot of paper.

There’s a better way through AP automation. Here are the big three reasons why AP automation is a great step forward for businesses:

  1. Saves Money

Let’s take a look at several costs involved in the current manual AP process. Take paper, for example. The typical AP process before automation involves printing many documents. Gartner estimates that printing costs account for approximately 1-3% of a company’s overall revenue per year, or about $150 per employee for printing, including paper, ink or toner, equipment, and the like.

In addition to direct costs, there is also the indirect cost of each accounting professional’s time handling that paper. Looking up invoices online, printing them, processing them, storing them … it’s a lengthy process, and one that’s ripe for automation.

  1. Increases Security

We talk a lot about cybersecurity and it’s definitely top of mind, but what about all that paper waiting in your office to be stolen and used?

Turns out that many companies have a security problem waiting to happen, and it’s waiting in their file cabinets and desks. Paper documents such as new hire employment forms, W9s, photocopies of driver’s licenses, and other employee identification information is worth money on the black market. Many file cabinets are kept unlocked because it’s cumbersome to keep locking them throughout the day, and it takes just a minute for someone to take a file, photocopy it, and return it.

For the AP department, many paper-based files sitting on your desk contain corporate financial information. Such information should be stored securely but is often left in unlocked cabinets. Both personal data and corporate data are security risks.

AP automation stores documents in a safe and secure way. Electronic documents can be kept on secured local hard drives or on cloud-based servers that are protected through many layers of security. Both, it seems, can be more secure than a file cabinet in the hallway or someone’s office.

  1. Boosts Efficiency

Although manual AP processes may be easy to follow, they are dreadfully inefficient. Think about the time wasted inputting information from paper-based forms, routing documents, filing them, and then finding them again.

With automated AP processes, information is automatically entered into the system once documents are scanned or added. Once in the system itself, they can be quickly and easily routed by email for approval or review.

Sage 100 Seamlessly Automates your AP Processes

Modernize your AP processes by switching to Sage 100. This robust, cloud-based software gives you the capability to stay competitive in today’s market. To learn more about Sage 100, schedule a demo, or request a custom quote, please contact us today.