Accounts payable and receivable automation has been somewhat of a lesser-spoken-about activity taking place in many of the world's businesses and governments, but one that has been highly transformative for a number of reasons. E-invoicing and other components involved in AP automation have proven to be more than capable of reducing errors, speeding up the time it takes to receive payments and streamlining the management demands of this particular department.
Because of how quietly these solutions have been entering the equation for businesses, though, all leaders might not fully understand why they are advantageous or which best practices need to be adhered to for capitalization purposes. At the end of the day, these tools are indeed becoming more intuitive and accessible, while vendors are handling implementation more commonly, but having a foundation of knowledge regarding the use of the solutions is certainly helpful.
Convergence and cohesion
Spend Matters recently explained some of the ways in which AP automation, trade financing and e-invoicing are becoming more converged, as well as what this will mean to companies embracing the change. According to the news provider, one source of confusion at a recent trade show appeared to be the fact that e-invoicing and AP automation are still not widely viewed as being two sides of the same proverbial coin, which is somewhat surprising.
The source argued that business leaders should indeed be viewing these two solutions as highly converged and unified, and work to combine them as much as possible in practice following implementation. Again, the use of a trusted software vendor can help to reduce the chances of AP automation and e-invoicing being handled in a disparate fashion.
Finally, Spend Matters noted that decision-makers do not currently appear to fully appreciate the ways in which various solutions will interact with one another, but that this should be a priority for efficiency and optimization purposes.
Time to act
Companies that have not yet started to embrace AP automation solutions should certainly do so soon, as the tools can quickly reduce errors, thus better protecting the firm from regulatory and litigation issues, all the while improving the experiences of employees who would otherwise be tasked with constant data entry responsibilities. With the right solutions in place, AP/AR departments can begin running like well-oiled machines.