What is Accounts Payable Automation
AP automation technology automates routine steps such as receiving invoices, coding, routing for approval, payment, and reconciliation. You may come across the term “touchless” processing, which generally means that AP automation eliminates the need to input data manually at any stage. However, approvers may still need to sign off on payments.
AP automation software typically also provides dashboards and analytic tools that help you manage the AP process and diagnose problems.
Why Automate Accounts Payable?
There are many reasons to automate AP. Some involve a tangible and rapid return on investment, by reducing the need for manual effort, AP automation can drive down your processing costs. It can also help you scale AP more easily as your business grows by reducing the need to hire more people.
AP automation also provides tools that can help you manage payments and cash flow more tightly by making the payment process faster and smoother.
Key Features of NetSuite AP Automation.
- Invoice Automation Benefits: Invoices can be automatically matched to supporting documents, like purchase orders and receiving documents (3-way matching). This automatic matching is faster and more accurate than manual matching, especially for businesses that otherwise might have to match documents stored at different locations.
- Bill Capture:Capture vendor bills more quickly and with fewer errors by removing manual data entry and automating the entire bill capture process. Bills are scanned using AI/ML-based object detection and optical character recognition. Relevant details, like vendor name, PO number, ordered items quantity, and pricing are then converted into digital text. NetSuite automatically creates a billing record using AI-based on previous bill entries and pre-populates the appropriate fields. A side-by-side view of the actual bill makes it easier for AP teams to review and approve.
- Bill Matching and Approvals:Avoid overpayment, duplicate payments, or fraudulent payment of vendor bills. Automated bill matching ensures vendor bills are two or three-way matched with the associated purchase orders to ensure accurate details such as unit pricing, quantity, and totals.
- AP Automation for NetSuite: Increase the accuracy and speed of payment processing. Vendor payments are processed through HSBC services with ACH, check, or virtual credit card payment options. The payer’s current bank account can be used to fund payments.
- Payment Reconciliation:Improve the accuracy of accounting data by eliminating error-prone manual reconciliation and enabling a faster financial close.
- SuiteBanking Center:Gain complete visibility into and control over transactions and real-time balances for HSBC online checking and credit card accounts. The dashboard gives users full visibility into their HSBC online accounts, the status of payables, and payments history.
What are the Benefits of AP Automation?
NetSuite Accounts Payable Automation can provide benefits not just for the financial group but across the entire organization:
- Fewer manual errors reduce the need for multiple departments to spend time investigating problems and handling supplier complaints.
- Paying promptly and predictably may enhance your reputation and help you in future negotiations with suppliers.
- Staff can be redeployed for higher value tasks such as analyzing payment data, instead of spending their time on manual data entry.
- Time Savings in NetSuite Invoice Automation:Traditionally, invoices would sit on desks or wait in email inboxes for approval. Automated routing cuts through those delays and streamlines the approval process.
- Low-Cost Invoicing:Business process automation saves labor costs and cuts down on hard costs, such as office supplies and postage for interoffice mail.
- Improved Accuracy:Opting for NetSuite Accounts Payable Automation translates to reduced errors. AP automation software is designed to protect you from some of the most common mistakes. There’s no need to key in invoice headers or line-item data manually.
- Increased Data Transparency:Enhanced dashboards make tracking employee productivity easier, which can also come in handy for employee reviews.
- Easy Auditing:Comprehensive NetSuite Accounts Payable Automation software can help you with document management, which can be beneficial for auditing. The system links all documents and messages involved with each transaction.