account payable automation

Worried about using account payable automation for your business? You’re not alone. We all hate accounting, and account payable automation has a bad rep. Rumors about automation seem to be spreading faster than those about the Kardashians (not sure who the Kardashians are? Don’t worry. They have nothing to do with account payable automation). Here are five debunked Myths of Account-Payable-Automation you need to know.

It’s a sad truth that AP departments are often overlooked. Companies tend to be busy working on marketing strategies and customer engagement. Sure, these are great areas to focus on (check out this SaaS marketing agency), but your AP department needs similar attention.

A slow and clunky AP department with regular human errors and mismatched paperwork could be the downfall of your company.

Due to the pandemic, the world is in a difficult economic place and companies have been forced to consider their options. Smart companies who carefully rethought their options will have invested in account payable automation. Why haven’t you?

Realistically, my guess is that you haven’t embraced automation yet because you’ve been pulled in by the myths.

Misconceptions abound and could be be holding you back and preventing you from developing a more streamlined and accessible AP system. You might be focusing on other areas of your business. But, to plan strategically and stay ahead of the game, getting account payable automation should be a part of your sales territory plan.

What are these myths that you may have been swayed by?

Let’s take a closer look at these claims and establish the real truths about account payable automation. You’ll discover that automation could be one of the best things for your business and you’ll start to understand that these myths aren’t anything to worry about.

Myth #1 Automation is Only for Large Businesses

One of the most common misconceptions is that account payable automation is only for large businesses. Sure, it’s great for large businesses: they have more invoices, meaning that they benefit from automation to help process and organize. Automation means that the many employees in the company can focus on their own areas of expertise, instead of muddling around in data entry.

But, the global Accounts Payable Automation Market size is expected to grow to $3.1 billion by 2024 (marketsandmarkets.com). The research means that plenty of smaller businesses are making the most of accounts payable automation, too.

How does account payable automation benefit small a business?

When you have fewer employees, you don’t want to be tasking your few employees with data entry either. Automation means that your existing employees can get down to useful tasks that fit their job description.

Plus, a growing company will need to get on board with new technologies and processes to keep up. If you do the right things now — your business won’t stay small forever. You should also consider using pop ups to generate more sales for your small business, especially right now when we are all trying to save our businesses and the economy.

Your business is never too big or too small to use account payable automation.

Myth #2 It’s Time Consuming and Expensive

Business owners often worry about account payment automation being both time consuming and expensive. It’s another myth.

All new technology takes a while to implement. A new system will never be quicker and cheaper than your current one — at first. But you have to weigh up the pros and cons. Will this newer system be quicker and cheaper in the long run, even if it takes a while to get up and running?

With automation, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Sure, like any software solution (check out the benefits of having HR software in 2020), accounts payable automation requires an initial platform cost. But once it’s up and running, you’ll find that the savings outweigh the expenses.

Using a cloud based accounts payable solution means that you won’t need any additional infrastructure. Once your system installed, you’re good to go. You’ll save time and can focus on more important areas of the business, such as customer engagement ideas and strategies.

One way you’ll save greatly on account-payable-automation is on the risk of human error. Manual data entry inevitably leads to errors. Dull and repetitive work increases the risk of a lapse of concentration, leading to mistakes being made.

Studies have found that double entry is the safest way to minimize data-entry errors. But at what cost? You already know that double entry equals double the amount of work to ensure accuracy.

Myth #3 There are Too Many Security Risks

You’ve probably heard worrying news stories about issues with account payable automation.

Hacking and data loss is one of the biggest concerns of most business owners in current society. However, security is always a top priority among any software company, even in manual systems.

Human error is one of the more likely scenarios in which data will be breached. With your current account payable method, you rely on a single person or group of people to ensure the safety and security of your company. All it takes is one person misplacing a paper invoice or sending an email to the wrong person, and data is breached.

Today’s technology is more reliable. If you use account payable automation, you have added layers of security. Password protection and encryption protocols make it much less likely that data will be breached. You control who has access to your system. Plus, you won’t have bulky paper files in cabinets with locks. Security is vastly increased when you have account payable automation.

Myth #4 Automation Cuts Jobs

Of course, all employers worry about the future of their employees when they decide to use new technology. Will this automation software replace a hardworking employee and mean that their job is no longer needed?

The short answer is no. While account payable automation means that your employees are no longer doing dull data entry, it doesn’t make their jobs invalid. It simply means that you have better use for your employees. All companies need administration workers and they will have useful transferable skills.

Take the time saved using account payable automation to develop your employees’ skills and train them in more difficult work. An increase in technology in your company will be a great thing, and you can develop from here.

Pay for your administration staff to take a course in social media, for example, where they might learn about virtual fundraising or creating an outreach strategy. Investing in an employee’s future makes for a more lucrative business and you will maintain employee retention.

Myth #5 You’ll Lose Control Over the Process

Going automated often makes people worry that they’ll lose control over the account payable process. But, it’s the opposite.

By using account payable automation software, you’ll gain more control of the process. The software gathers data and streamlines information, meaning that you can:

  • find and understand information more quickly;
  • notice patterns in data;
  • access past invoices and documents with ease; and
  • adjust invoices and documents in real-time without delays.

Account payable automation simply makes everything quicker and easier to access. It gives you a better understanding of your business because the information will be available immediately. When using paper copies, you won’t see the document and metadata until it’s put through the system. And how often would a paper copy be left lurking on an employee’s desk during their lunch break? Don’t do it.

When you go automated, you see the payable from the point of invoice receipt, giving you a better understanding of your in-goings and out-goings. Having the ability to see all information at a glance means more control over your accounts and, as a result, more control over your business.

The Truths About Account Payable Automation

You’ve heard the myths. They might well be preventing you from using account payable automation. But, these myths have been debunked over and over in business classes and other research. You know that the myths aren’t based around fact or evidence. They’re old-fashioned, or at least views that have not been updated, and they’re based upon hearsay.

So, if these are the myths, what are the truths?

Businesses Need Automation to Grow

Technology is the future. The best businesses are using software and technological advances to improve the way they function. Companies are going digital. All the best companies have their own websites and allow people to pay online. If you haven’t implemented the simple automated payables, you’re missing out on a crucial market.

The same can be said for other automation.

A business looking to expand over the next few years will need to get account payable automation. Failing to implement could cause your business to fall behind.

Your leading competitors will use this automation, and this will mean that they can strategize in other areas. You will waste time using paper copies and data entry. There will be more errors. Automation will ensure that your AP is fast, reliable, and easily analyzed.

image credit: richard dykes; unsplashImage Credit: richard dykes; unsplash

With the global Accounts Payable Automation Market size is expecting to grow to $3.1 billion by 2024 (marketsandmarkets.com), you can see the benefits of  making some of that cash yours. If your business is already thriving, think about what you can do with the time savings from your AP system.

It Reduces Human Error

Automation reduces the likeliness of human error in your company. Instead of relying on a few employees to ensure everything is done properly, you rely on a technical system. This means it’s more reliable.

Think about the issues you have to navigate as an employer with your AP department. What if your main AP employee is off sick or on holiday? You probably have someone else who knows what they’re doing, right? But what if they’re off sick too? Or what if they simply don’t know the ins and outs of the system as well as the other employee? The likelihood of errors has already vastly increased.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with relying on an employee to do your accounts. But making it automated simply makes it more reliable. Instead of navigating leave and sickness, you can spend your time on other areas of the business.

It’s More Detailed

The fact is that automation is more detailed. You can learn a lot more about your company from analyzing the data this way.

For example, consider how difficult it is to view paper documents and find patterns. You need a hefty folder and an eye for detail. Automation means that you can search for specifics easily and spot patterns in advance. This means you can learn detailed information about your finances without struggling to trawl through paper.

Don’t forget about the fact that automation covers more than invoices, too. It tackles onboarding, tax, and other financial processes. So, you’re getting more for your buck and covering several issues at once.

All in All — Go Automated

Now that the myths have been debunked, there’s no reason not to go automated. It might take a little while to get the hang of the system — but not much. Yes, you’ll have initial payments, but the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Your long term savings will be more significant than your initial costs, and you’ll have the time and money to invest into other areas of your business.

Once you have managed to access 100% of your invoices electronically, you’ll spot patterns in your business that you never had access to before.

You will realize process improvements in days instead of months. This means you will see bigger investments and successes within your company. You’ll also see the flaws more easily and be able to target them quicker.

The process is not daunting once you try it — it may just feel a little difficult leaving your comfort zone. Most of us fear new technology and putting the fate of our company in the hands of a machine. But it will be worth it for a faster, more effective AP system.

You can no longer excuse your lack of automation on myths. They’ve been debunked. You’re welcome.

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