Sometimes running a successful business isn’t just about selling the most, or even having the highest revenue. Other factors like costs, lack of employees or simple bad luck can see your business stalling even if you’re selling more than ever.
Cost-cutting is typically at the top of the list when you’re looking for ways to avert business disaster. After all, if your profit margin isn’t healthy then neither is your business.
Automation is fast-becoming the top way businesses are cutting costs these days, and automated invoicing is among the most common. And of course, it makes sense; you’ll see fewer errors, less paperwork and more efficient accounts payable (AP) processes when you automate AP.
A good automated invoicing system will allow you to track your invoices electronically, create an easily-searchable invoice database and streamline your workflows. It should also have the flexibility to allow your suppliers to pay electronically without needing to change their own business rules.
Automating Your Invoice Management System Speeds Up Payments
Using electronic invoices and automated payment processing can help to reduce the time your invoice is in review. Overall, electronic invoicing reduces the time it takes for payments to be approved, processed and paid.
A good AP system will have several processes in place to guide invoices through their life-cycle. Invoice categorisation, routing, verification and coding are all streamlined and made faster when automated.
Having a quick and easy payment system improves your relationships with suppliers and gives you an edge when negotiating for better prices and discounts.
Electronic Invoices Cost Less to Send and Track
It may not seem like a lot, but when you consider all the money you spend on stamps, paper, ink and even the time it takes to stuff envelopes, can add up. Using an automated invoicing system removes the need for these and can save your business money over time.
Tracking invoices is also made much easier when you use an AP automation system. You’ll be able to call up a complete history and see where any outstanding payment stands with a click of a button.
This makes it faster and easier for your employees to do their job, and will help trim the capital costs associated with billing.
Optimised Productivity Means Optimised Employee Costs
Thanks to the efficiency of an automation, when your AP team is backed by an automated system, their productivity will increase greatly. With fewer mistakes and easier reporting, invoicing will take less time.
Reducing the busy work of your employees frees their time for tasks that provide a higher value to your business. It also allows you to work with a leaner and more satisfied team.
Reduce Errors to Squeeze Value
If you’ve ever worked with resolving disputed invoices, then you know that a fair portion are often the result of simple clerical errors. Data entry errors are common when manually entering information.
Disputed invoices can hold up payments and drain your employees’ time, and that translates to business value lost. Doing whatever you can to minimise the errors that cause these disputes should be near the top of your list, right?
Automated invoicing reduces the errors you’ll see, and it makes the errors that do arise easier to fix. Good automatic invoicing systems will find and resolve duplicates on their own and make your AP team’s job much easier.
Anything that increases the efficiency of your business rules is going to save you money. Avoiding payments disputed due to clerical errors creates a direct value to your business.
Automated Accounts Payable Provides a Strategic View
Tracking invoices in the old days could be a time-consuming slog through mountains of paperwork. One of the chief benefits that automating AP has brought to businesses is the ability to easily find and sort data about invoices and clients.
An automated AP system makes it easy to find issues with your AP processes and allow you to improve them. Invoice problems can be easily located without the need to dig through files and folders.
Because of how easy it is to find and aggregate information about past and current invoices, process improvement initiatives will have the data they need to be as effective as possible.
Automation Can Help Turn Your Business Around
Your accounts payable team and processes are near the heart of your business. Persistent problems paying your bills can be a real drag on your business. Even without significant problems, using an old-fashioned paper-based system leads to an increased cost of doing business.
Automated invoicing reduces errors, optimises business costs and allows for fine-grained improvements. If you’re business is falling behind, then automating business systems like AP will create a direct improvement to the health of your business.
Automating your AP and invoicing systems is no longer really an extra option these days, it’s rapidly become a standard way of doing business. For a struggling business without an automated AP system, the choice of whether to use one is clear: you need an automated AP system.