The Key Tools For Establishing A Solid AP Department

To be successful in this competitive world, businesses need to leverage any advantage available to them in terms of strategy, cost, or time. Accounts payable as function keeps track of all invoices, payments and spend, hence is the biggest opportunity for cost saving. Also, it provides the business with actionable information for strategy creation. But to effectively set up its identity as a strategic contributor, it requires four key tools that support AP’s contributions to the strategic objective.

Here, we present the four key tools for developing a strong accounts payable team:

Data Management

Most organizations would maintain and update their supplier records every year. The entire process of collecting, maintaining, and updating supplier information is really tedious and error-prone. Data management capability offered by an automated system saves a lot of time and money for businesses. It offers an easy self-service portal to the suppliers; where they can easily enter and update every bit of information themselves without the AP staff having to engage in the process. Additionally, it maintains accurate records which can help in strategic decision making.

E-Invoicing

Businesses that utilize e-invoicing end up reducing invoice processing time and increasing saving. The task that consumes a major portion of AP team’s time is tending to supplier calls to know their payment status. An automated portal provides suppliers with end-to-end visibility into data, provides payment tracking and acts as an open communication platform, thereby relieving the AP staff from frequent supplier calls. It also gives the supplier visibility into the invoice cycle and helps them in selecting from the different invoice formats available.

Automated Processing

AP departments spend the most time in handling invoice processing issues like manual errors, duplicate invoices, repeated & multiple supplier calls etc. Automated invoice processing helps streamline end-to-end invoice processes by eliminating the need for manual matching, automating exception handling and providing visibility into the entire invoicing process, thus enabling AP staff to capture more savings and enhance liquidity.

Active Discounting

The discounting tools in AP process ensure businesses are able to extract maximum savings out of the discounting opportunities available so they can optimize liquidity and maintain cash-flow. It also helps with intuitive and real-time data analytics to track business savings goals.

In any business, accounts payable department has a strategic role. To make the most of AP’s ability to provide valuable strategic inputs, automation is crucial. The key factors mentioned above will help you build a strong foundation for an AP department with minimal manual intervention.

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