Spenda 23 February - 3 min read
Automation helps businesses to realise efficiencies while providing a range of other benefits. If you’re like most businesses, accounts payables is likely an area that could benefit from automation to reduce manual processes and the need to manage each invoice one-by-one. For those Australian businesses that opt for manual processes, the average invoice processing time is 16 days, while some businesses take up to 20 days. Businesses with automated processes can pay invoices in as little as three days. If your business is looking to automate its accounts payable processes, there are tools and technologies that will help you pay invoices faster and better manage your cash flow. Apart from reducing fraud risk and addressing inefficiencies, there are many other benefits your business could enjoy with an automated bill management system in place.
Keep reading to learn more about the five key benefits of automating your accounts payable process.
Save time and money
Processing invoices manually is taxing. It requires multiple parties to handle and pass over the invoice from receipt, to approval, and all the way through to payment. The accounts payable team then has to make sure they have the details correct and manually pay the invoice. Not only does this delay payment times but it increases the risk of errors and invoices getting lost.
With automated accounts payables and bill management tools, your business can streamline the approval process with intuitive dashboards and features that allow you to bulk process invoices. This can result in invoices being paid around 5.5 days faster, saving you time and money by reducing the labour inputs, overheads and technology typically required for manual and paper-based processes.
Reduce human error and improve accuracy
By integrating your automation tools with your existing accounting or ERP software, you’ll have a single source of digital truth available to ensure all of your payments are accurate. Simply ensure each payment matches its invoice in your existing software so you can:
Align your cash inflows and outflows
An automated accounts payable system should do more than simply automate your payments. With the right tools, you’ll enjoy improved visibility of your cash flow so you know exactly when payments will be made. And by scheduling these payments in advance to align with your future cash inflows, you can ensure your suppliers are always paid on time without sacrificing your cash flow.
Access more payment options
One of the most common challenges that businesses face with their accounts payable is being restricted to the payment options offered by their suppliers. Quite often, the only payment option available is electronic funds transfer (EFT). If you don’t have the cash available to make an EFT payment, you may end up paying your invoice late and copping late fees. Your supplier will then have to chase payment which can damage your vital business relationships.
Automated bill management tools provide your business with added flexibility in how and when you pay. Even if your suppliers only accept EFT payments, you can use the tools available within the software to pay via credit card. Not only does this help you ensure you pay on time even if you don’t have the cash in your account, but it can effectively extend your payment terms through the interest-free period on your credit card and allow you to take advantage of rewards points programs.
Protect your business from payments fraud
Creating strong approval processes for better fraud protection is another key benefit of automating your accounts payable processes. By assigning specific approval responsibility to employees, you’ll ensure that each invoice has gone through the appropriate checks before payment is released. This reduces the likelihood that a fraudulent invoice is paid along with multiple opportunities to check all invoice data is correct before payment.
Automate your payments with Spenda
Spenda helps businesses to manage their payments with ease. By providing the tools and systems to pay off invoices over multiple instalments and the ability to pay multiple invoices in one transaction, you’ll have everything you need to align your cash inflows and outflows. Further, when you pay your invoices on time, either through instalments or single transactions, your suppliers will have more certainty over their cash flow too.
Download our guide on how to implement smarter systems across your business that will help improve operational efficiency, boost cash flow and enable your business to grow faster. Click here.
Chasing late invoice payments is a burden for any business, and still, more than half of B2B payments in Australia continue to be processed late, costing businesses, on average, $115 billion every year.
When you’re running a large operation with hundreds of invoices processed each month, the resources required to manage your payments grow quickly, especially when ageing receivables become a problem. While customers may not pay their invoices for various reasons, it happens too often, causing a range of challenges and increased risk.
Digital payments helped businesses get paid safely and efficiently throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns and associated restrictions. But as economies reopen many challenges still face businesses including supply chain disruptions, the ‘great resignation’, rising inputs such as fuel, and the expense of reopening. These business challenges make now an opportune time to build on the processes optimised throughout the pandemic, especially across B2B trade.
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