Top automation strategies to revolutionise the accounts payable process

Accounting operations in many organisations are entirely manual. The 33% of companies that have at least partial automation in their accounting process are immune to the friction and hassle of manual accounts payable (AP) processes.

AP automation solutions that are efficient, cost-effective, and adaptable to ever-changing situations are most coveted in the industry. Trade payable or AP automation aims to minimise human intervention and make error-prone tasks smoother. By integrating AP automation with online business networks, enterprises can achieve efficiency and high ROI.*

Accounts payable automation strategies

By establishing that we need simpler processes, high efficiency, and accuracy, we have accepted AP automation as a necessity. Paperless accounts operations will significantly change your relationships with vendors and how you negotiate payment terms. This brings us to the strategies that enterprises can employ to make their payment automation solutions smoother and more streamlined.

  1. Develop a core workflow for AP
  2. Devise a workflow structure and explicit guidelines on managing the payments and purchase orders (POs). It helps maintain all details efficiently. How long the organisation takes to honour an invoice, how often the payments are made, and what kind of security one expects can all be part of the plan - the more specific the plan is, the better control one has.

  3. Incorporate automation in relevant sections of business operations
  4. e-Procurement solutions and RPA in invoicing can augment AP automation. Technologies like ERP could be part of the automation endeavour and make the APOC experience masterful.

  5. Develop vendor portals
  6. Vendor portals will be most effective if company policy dictates its use for all vendors and set it up as the only platform for vendor management. Delivery statuses, purchases, payments, and other activities with outside vendors can be tracked simultaneously on the same platform. This will ensure accessibility and build trust with the vendors.

  7. Audit trails
  8. Meticulous and detailed records of payments, purchases, and grievances will go a long way in making the payment automation solution foolproof.

  9. Set up a reconciliation process
  10. Vendor relationships and satisfaction are a deal breaker for most businesses. Automatic mapping of POs and invoices will help keep track of all vendor operations.

  11. Multiple payment options
  12. Payment automation comes with the implied necessity for online payment options.

  13. Decentralise AP operations (remote operations)
  14. Decentralisation is a backup plan for the post-COVID world. But businesses have realised the extensive advantages this flexibility provides to them. A remotely operating AP solution is inevitably based on the cloud.

Benefits of automating the accounts operations

Although manual AP processes may have worked for you in the past, the future of a business depends on fast, efficient, and error-free operations. By leveraging automation, your team can work smarter, eliminating obstructions to potential growth.

  • Reduced overhead for higher efficiency
  • The advantages AP automation delivers in terms of processes, workforce, and cost efficiency cannot be ignored. Reduced overhead can mean a significant implementation victory.

  • Data transparency
  • Transparency is crucial in accounts operations to offer 100% control. And, APOC provides the added benefit of process transparency where one can track and audit the accounts operations and the people involved in it.

  • High accuracy
  • Common errors in AP operations are a result of human negligence or failure of the paper-based system. Automating the process significantly reduces errors and improves accuracy and efficiency, which is crucial to business growth.

  • About 83% potential decrease in expenses
  • The cost overheads of manual operations are not limited to personnel or maintenance. Significant hard costs such as stationery, mail, etc., are entirely eliminated in the APOC process.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Infosys BPM account payable solutions can help you maximise ROI. With a 360-degree approach to automation, we can ensure that vendor portals and e-payments become the default for all your payables. Infosys BPM AP automation services include:

  • Invoice processing
  • Hold/exception management
  • Payments
  • Vendor queries
  • Reconciliations

*For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

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