Until recently, accounts payable automation has focused on invoice processing. But automating the invoice-to-pay cycle end-to-end now sits atop the agenda of accounts payable professionals.
Accounts payable professionals rank electronic payments as the primary technology initiative on their to-do lists, topping invoice automation, per the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).
These professionals recognize that their organization is missing out on opportunities to save time and money, generate lucrative card rebates, improve their supplier relationships, and mitigate risk.
Invoice-to-pay solutions extend the benefits of invoice automation through the supplier payment. Buyers upload a single file to a payments solution for all their approved invoices. Payments are then dispersed in the method that the supplier selected (check, ACH or card), remittance data is sent to suppliers, and buyers can track payments, identify rejects, and generate reports. Data on payments is integrated with the buyer’s ERP or accounting system for streamlined reconciliation and reporting.
By completing the ‘last mile’ of automation with an invoice-to-pay solution, buyers can:
- Enhance visibility: Invoice-to-pay solutions provide real-time visibility into cash position, spending and the status of payments. Detailed transaction and reconciliation reports are integrated into the buyer’s ERP to provide a consolidated view of all transactions. Full-cycle tracking enables more accurate accrual reporting and greater payments control and security.
- Lower costs: Invoice-to-pay solutions eliminate the costly elements of paying suppliers. A single payment file initiates payment to all suppliers. Invoice-to-pay solutions parse the payment instructions and initiate payment via the method requested by each supplier, without requiring the buyer to log in to multiple banking portals. Payments are reconciled in the buyer’s ERP, eliminating the need for staff to rekey data or decode cryptic banking messages.
- Earn lucrative cash-back rebates: Invoice-to-pay solutions enable organizations to earn cash-back rebates on supplier payments made using a virtual card. In some cases, the cash-back rebates earned by organizations have helped transform their accounts payables department a revenue center, or at least generated funds that can be invested in automation.
- Mitigate payments fraud: Electronic payment solutions provide greater control than paper checks, mitigating the risk of payment fraud and compliance violations. Invoice-to-pay solutions allow for defined roles and permissions/privileges, configurable business rules, complete audit trails, hierarchical access, administrative controls for security settings, and parameters (such as the amount, supplier, location, or date) for approved payments. Some advanced invoice-to-pay solutions also automatically alert users to suspicious payments.
None of these benefits are possible without completing the last mile of accounts payable automation.
Let ACOM Solutions help your organization automate its last mile. Contact us today!