When it Comes to Your Organization’s Accounts Payable, Automation is a Question of “When” Rather Than “Why”
Companies can streamline various manual, time-sensitive tasks with AP automation, unlocking the potential for some major cost and time savings.
In times of constant change, the best way to survive as a business is to try to control what you can control. In order to shore up your business’ defenses against tough economic conditions caused by local, national and global factors, it’s imperative to stay vigilant in increasing efficiencies and in cutting overhead costs wherever possible.
Because a healthy cashflow or cash liquidity plays a significant role in company stability, many business owners are setting their sights on improving efficiencies and reducing costs within their finance departments — specifically within the Accounts Payable (AP) department, as it is traditionally cost-laden and can provide real-time visibility to liabilities within the company if managed properly.
Enter the notion of automation. The very premise or goal of automation is to increase efficiency and productivity while decreasing cost. When it comes to AP automation, companies can streamline various manual, time-sensitive tasks, unlocking the potential for some major cost and time savings.
While there are many AP automation solution offerings on the market, most feature identical payment options like ACH, checks or credit cards, giving suppliers flexible payment choices. However, those automation solutions that lead the pack interface seamlessly with a buyer’s payment run process and offer full visibility to the payments cycle — allowing leadership a better grasp of the bigger financial picture at any given time. Often these solutions are cloud-based so they are “lightweight” on your system and can dramatically cut start-up and maintenance costs because, while they still seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, they don’t require intensive on-site customization. The return-on-investment can then be seen in a much shorter time.
If you haven’t considered AP automation for your business yet, it might be past time to ask yourself, “why not?” At this point in the industry’s maturity, front-end invoice imaging and electronic invoicing technologies have converged so that companies with AP automation can streamline paper and virtual invoices through a common process. The time and money savings alone in this feature are enough for consideration, but also consider the safeguards AP automation puts in place against errors and fraud. Enhanced controls and clear audit trails that ensure compliance with internal rules and external legal requirements are built-in benefits that can put minds at ease and make monitoring and reconciliation easier. And the ease extends beyond your company, as several AP automation solutions (like CommercePayments® AP Invoice Automation) include supplier training to assist in making a seamless transition to the new system.
Cloud-based AP automation solutions can also spread out the cost of investment over time because it can be classified as an operating expense rather than a capital expenditure. Even better, many solutions — like Commerce Bank’s, require little to no internal IT resources to implement or maintain. This makes the integration easier and cost-effective to implement.
So, with everything there is to gain with bringing AP automation to your business, when will you get started?
Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH), leverages more than 150 years of proven strength and experience to help individuals and businesses solve financial challenges. Visit us at commercebank.com/builtforbusiness to learn more.