Arguably, one of the largest bottlenecks in a company can be their accounts payable process within their financial or accounting department. Accounts payable is responsible for handling all invoices received by vendors, distributors, supply companies, service providers, etc. and they run the verification and payments as well.
A solid accounts payable system is key for the ebb and flow of funds going out for goods and services provided. These systems should be systematic and accurate as they have a direct impact on the overall financials of a business.
Today, many companies are still relying on physical paper invoices and filing systems for their accounts payable model. In the modern world of technology and the ever-competing nature of businesses, e-invoices and online invoicing management software are proving to be critical game-changers.
By moving to an electronic-based invoicing system, accounts payable departments across the world are becoming more efficient and that bottleneck is disappearing. Through online invoicing software, human error is drastically reduced. This results in more accurate financial data faster which means better business decisions can be made AND they can be made on a more desirable timeline.
No More Paper
In the business world, paper is messy.
Paper gets lost, misfiled, or accidentally destroyed. Not to mention paper needing to be stored and filed takes up a ton of valuable office space and is extremely hard to reference in the future without sifting through rows upon rows of file folders and banker’s boxes. Not only is this a huge waste of space, but it’s simply unnecessary.
Paper also relies heavily on human-based manual labor which is extremely time-consuming and all-encompassing. Employees dealing with paper invoices, for example, have to open, scan, transfer data, check data, confirm data, write a check, mail a check, and keep track of everything piling up on their desks at the same time because new invoices arrive on the daily. This system is inefficient and becomes overwhelming quickly, which just leads to more disorganization and error.
With e-invoicing, gone are the days of stacks upon stacks of paper invoices, bills, receipts, and tracking things on notepads.
Businesses do not need their accounts payable personnel to be paper-pushers, they need them to help add strategic value and financial data insight into their larger company. By utilizing the power of electronic invoicing and online accounts payable management, companies are becoming more streamlined, more effective, and they are able to truly utilize the skills and experience of their teams for the right reasons.
Streamlining Accounts Payable
Accounts payable departments who are switching to e-invoicing and their supporting software are seeing the payoffs quite literally.
E-invoicing completely digitizes what used to be a paper-upon-paper manual process and keeps everything in one place. This means receipts, service orders, procurement lists, POs, invoices, approvals, and payments are all stored and synced within the same space. When an accounts payable department receives a new invoice, the automated system will match that invoice directly with the confirmation receipt for the goods or services.
In addition, everything is confirmed automatically and approval rules can be set electronically so that accurate, matched invoices can be paid electronically as well. This moves invoices through your system extremely fast, leaves little room for error, and keeps things moving.
Partners and businesses providing the goods and services to your company will also be paid faster with this streamlined process. This in turn keeps your business in good standing and makes you a reliable partner yourself. There are also e-invoicing options for suppliers through this system, so your business can be a partner in helping other companies utilize this streamlined system as well. Businesses helping other businesses is how everyone moves forward successfully.
Everyone wins with an online e-invoicing process and it significantly reduces cost-per-invoice as well. Not to mention it serves to eliminate late payments, missed payments, or inaccurate payments which keeps the books clean month-to-month. It also helps reduce unnecessary penalty fees and keeps funds moving in and out with clear data.
This is not only critical for accurate financial tracking and decisions to be made but is also beneficial in the case of a surprise audit. For example, in the past audits meant an entire team of people were out of commission for days or weeks at a time and everything else got put on the back-burner. With e-invoicing software systems, your accounts payable team does not need to drop everything for an audit because everything is up-to-date, accurate, and stored/filed in one place. This ease of access in itself is a huge cost-saving component and keeps business practices clear and honest.
Ultimately, e-invoicing is one part of the bigger picture. Reducing paper reliance and improving automation are themes heard endlessly in virtually every industry. There are reasons for that. Investments in automation tend to net positive returns, and they can improve the bottom line for years.