Automation Streamlines Your Accounts Payable Process

Here we are in 2021, and we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic. Although many of your organization’s facilities and buildings have reopened, it’s likely some of your staff members are still working from home. This mix of in-office and remote staff can make it harder to get things done, particularly tasks related to accounts payable. Thankfully, automation can help.

Here’s how automation can help streamline your accounts payable processes, regardless of where your staff members are located.

First, what is automation?

Simply put, “automation” is the act of automating certain processes within an organization. These processes could include accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and other administrative functions. While automation typically relies on software, it’s not about reducing your organization’s head count. Instead, it’s about finding ways to eliminate redundancies, paper, and even errors. The result: Your staff members are free to do more of what they were hired to do—and empowered to do it more easily.

For more on the benefits of automation, check out our article series on the topic 

Automation leads to centralization

Do vendors send invoices to various locations throughout your organization? If so, several recipients may have to personally reroute these invoices to your finance department.

Automation lets you centralize this process. For instance, certain accounts payable software accepts electronic invoices and automatically routes them to the right recipient. Not only does this eliminate the shuffling and scanning of papers—it also keeps staff members from having to make potentially time-consuming decisions about where an invoice should go. This is particularly helpful for staff members who are working remotely or those who work in the field.

Electronic payments for the win-win

The time it takes to physically cut checks can quickly add up, and it can’t be done remotely. Automation can allow for electronic payments, putting an end to this clunky process. What’s more, if your organization processes payments using a purchasing card, it could generate rebates, too.

Easier access to records = easier audit process

One significant benefit of automating your organization’s accounts payable is the ability to maintain electronic records and invoices. This means no more filing paper copies or making trips to a finance office to find them. When it’s time for your organization’s audit, you can simply give your auditors access to your electronic filing system. No sifting through papers required.

The perks of project-based accounting

If your organization hasn’t already implemented project-based accounting, automation can help. With the right software in place, you can code invoices to tie them to a certain project or fund. Our clients who were already using project-based accounting found it incredibly helpful when documenting CARES Act expenditures and preparing for their single audits

Leave your accounts payable worries behind.

When implemented correctly, automation can make life easier for your organization’s staff and improve its overall performance. Not a bad way to start 2021, right?

If you’re ready to explore your options, AEM can help. The first step is to understand your organization’s processes. This allows us to determine what you need your software to do, and if your current software can make it happen. If not, we look at ways to integrate a new software solution with your existing systems. Whether your organization needs a comprehensive process evaluation, accounts payable automation, or even training, we can provide a focused solution.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Vicki Holthaus, CPA, is a Partner with AEM Financial Solutions. She provides financial management services and customized solutions for local governments and nonprofit agencies.

You can reach Vicki at 952.715.3069 or click here to contact her via email.

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