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Accounting automation: How to lower costs in your AP department
Is your accounting department as efficient as it can be? If you’re not sure how to answer that question, chances are, it’s not.
You may be comfortable with the way your accounting department does things. Maybe you’ve handled accounts payable (AP) the same way for decades and have never thought about adjusting your process to make it more efficient.
The bottom line is that if you haven’t invested in streamlining your accounting workflows in the last several years, you’re putting your company at a competitive disadvantage. At the very least, you have to expect that a good chunk of your competitors are using the latest tools and technologies to make their accounting teams more efficient—thereby lowering their costs and freeing up more resources for growth and innovation.
Just because your accounting team has mastered their current processes doesn't mean they're operating at peak efficiency.
By leveraging modern solutions that enable accounting automation functionality, companies can streamline much of their AP workflow. For example, platforms like Fraxion’s AP Automation module enable organizations to:
- Automate the management of AP invoices. Accounting teams no longer have to worry about spending a lot of unnecessary time receiving, reading, and filing invoices. Technology takes those responsibilities off their plates.
- Expedite the payment of invoices. Never pay an invoice late again. Instead, you’ll be able to easily take advantage of any payment discounts that vendors offer you. If no discounts are available, your accounts will be settled on time—no sooner. As long as your vendors are being paid when they’re expecting to be paid, you’ll remain on good terms with them.
- Leverage built-in custom workflow capabilities to simplify routing. Teams can determine appropriate workflows with built-in authorization-routing tools that enable them to implement custom settings. This way, nothing is slowed down when someone who needs to sign off on something is out of the office, for example.
- Determine which vendors are supported by automation. Free your accounting team from having to waste time reviewing routine expenditures. If you buy the same amount of computer paper each month from the same supplier and prices stay relatively the same, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to require your accountants to scrutinize those invoices each month. On the other hand, invoices that are not routine do need to be looked at thoroughly. With the right tools on hand, accountants can choose which invoices can be automated and which need more attention.
As a result of using Fraxion’s accounts payable automation solution, accounting teams have become remarkably more productive, because they’re able to invest their time more effectively. Instead of having to spend their time handling routine accounting functions that can be taken care of by technology, they are able to focus on other mission-critical aspects of operations.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), accountants are the second likeliest group of professionals who will be affected by automation. But this doesn’t mean that organizations or even accountants themselves should worry about accountants’ job security.
Over time, PwC expects that accounting roles will shift from crunching numbers and managing receivables and payables to becoming more strategic and analytical members of the team. Instead of performing tasks that can easily be replicated by technology, the accountants of tomorrow will be more involved in long-term financial planning and other value-adding functions.
In any case, suffice it to say that organizations that fail to evolve and adopt new technologies will almost certainly be left in the dust by their forward-thinking competitors that understand the importance of investing in new tools. After all, accounting automation enables companies to streamline their operations and become more effective.
There’s no sense in making anyone’s job more complicated than it needs to be. There’s also no sense in paying people to tackle responsibilities that can easily be taken care of by technology.
By investing in tools that enable AP process automation, organizations become more productive and better positioned to respond to the challenges inherent in today’s fast-paced business world. The end result? A more competitive organization that’s able to serve its customers even better.