Fraud is the most common problem in accounts payable, which is the most vulnerable area within a business to conduct illegal activity. Protecting accounts payable can seem overwhelming as the invoice, and account data can be tampered easily. However, putting controls in place is more important than ever before.
Cloud technology can automate AP processes and help prevent fraud from happening. However, many accounting departments do not want to embrace digital systems as it seems to take the control away. AP automation can have a significant impact in preventing fraud in protecting the data.
Benefits of AP Automation
AP automation offers greater level of transparency and accountability as every payment is recorded in the system. No matter what issues might arise, the transaction details can be found quickly and easily. This helps prevent fraud in the long run.
Automated AP solution offers three key benefits that help fight fraud and keeps business transactions safe.
AP processes work with thousands of paper documents filed within a system leading to documents being lost or misfiled, which presents opportunities for fraud. With automated AP system, filing relevant documents can be done easily, and the invoice lifecycle can be completely streamlined. This makes it easy to figure out any unusual activities happened in the invoice cycle. Also, you can easily verify and validate the invoices as required.
Automated AP solutions identify missing invoices, keep track of vendor price changes, track increased invoice volume, and flags any modifications to invoices.
In accounts payable, access has to be controlled at every phase. AP automation can provide access control and the advanced security features can even be effectively policed. Automated systems can restrict certain functions to a few and avoids unauthorized invoice access. This would result in greater compliance and accuracy while offering highest security against internal fraud.
Set Workflow Practices
Efficiency is important in AP department, and it is difficult to achieve. The key culprit is the volume of paperwork to be processed and approvals that have to be made to push payments, all through the AP cycle.
Automated AP solution allows company to set its best practices; it not only improves the workflow but outlines step-by-step measures to be adhered to. These can include payments that require undergoing multi-approval process and mandating pre-approval process. As all the rules and policies can be pre-defined, the system will automatically apply them to all the users preventing anyone from by-passing the phases.
So, if you are looking to mitigate fraud in AP, automation may be the first step. Cloud solutions offer huge benefits in terms of improved efficiencies, time, cost savings and alleviate frustration all through the processes.