There are so many reasons to automate your accounts payable processes. By streamlining and standardizing your AP functions, you’ll quickly experience the benefits that come from a more efficient workflow and enhanced and more accurate data. You’ll save time and money, strengthen your vendor relationships, and increase productivity. But what you really gain—the benefit that’s driving the widespread adoption of cloud-based AP automation technology—is strategic value for your finance and accounting organization.
Accounting’s New Strategic Paradigm
As we recently explored in two blog posts, Meet the Tech Savvy CFO of 2017 and The Rising Value of the Strategic CFO, the role of today’s finance and accounting teams is changing. We can thank technology for simplifying many of their daily numbers-crunching activities—for freeing up their time and energy to focus on activities, like deep-dive data analysis and reporting, that push the business forward, not simply account for inputs and outputs.
With the right AP automation technology in place, finance and accounting departments are more agile and data-driven. They become part of the strategic conversation, the holders of invaluable insights that guide the business’s next steps and shape the future. But what does the “right” AP technology do for a growing company?
Building a Strong AP Foundation
Ardent Partners’ research report, The State of ePayables 2017, says that strategy-minded AP teams will be pursuing technology-enabled transformation in cash management, supplier management, and business intelligence—three key areas linked directly to AP processes. Taking this a step further, consider the core AP capabilities demonstrated by “Best-in-Class” AP teams vs. all others:
- Standardized AP processes across the enterprise (88% vs. 61%)
- Two or three-way matching capabilities (84% vs. 61%)
- Ability to process invoices straight-through (73% vs. 34%)
- Ability to automatically route invoices for approval (70% vs. 54%)
- Ability to match invoices to contracts or payment plans (61% vs. 28%)
- Ability to measure key AP metrics (47% vs. 22%)
Prioritizing these foundational AP capabilities, says Ardent Partners, “enables access to innovation and an ability to make a greater impact.” This is exactly why organizations are replacing their legacy systems and manual processes with more innovative solutions that automate—and add value to—core accounting functions. Traditional spreadsheets and yesterday’s technology are simply holding them back from making progress as a strategic business entity.
The Cloud Accounting Solution: A Strategic Investment
One of the fastest routes for a growing organization to achieve AP automation—and strategic prowess—is through a cloud accounting software solution. By way of automating once-manual processes, companies standardize transactions and workflows, increase accuracy and timeliness of payments, and have the tools to measure and even increase productivity. What’s more, they are also able to strengthen financial controls, increase visibility (even in real-time), and attain compliance and auditability—with access to user-friendly tools and data around-the-clock.
Learn more in How Cloud Accounting Lets Users Take Control of Process.
Sage Intacct offers the industry-leading and AICPA-preferred accounts payable software. Here are some of the AP tasks can you automate with Sage Intacct’s solution:
- Expense allocations across entities, locations, and departments
- 1099 coding, multiple entity consolidations, and IRS file generation
- Payment approvals and payments—via check, cash, funds transfer, or manual
- Amortization expenses
- Vendor management workflows
- Reports on vendors, aging, and payments
And when you integrate the cloud-based solution with your other systems, you can gain even more workflow efficiencies (e.g. less transaction re-keying) and insights over your data. As your capabilities expand by making the most of your technology ecosystem—with AP software at the center—your team will be able to uncover more opportunities and deliver richer, more actionable decision-support to the C-Suite.
So if you’re ready to stop managing payments manually—and you’d appreciate the strategic freedom afforded by a fully automated, digital AP process—contact us to get started.