8 reasons your business needs AP automation

April 20, 2022

Running a business can sometimes feel like there’s no time to pause, take a breath, and look for opportunities to improve. We’d like to introduce a quick and easy solution that also provides you with more room to breathe: automation.

In 2018, it cost an average business $5.83 to pay an invoice. While $5.83 may not seem like much, if you pull open that same spreadsheet you’re tracking your bills on and do some quick math, you’re probably spending more than you think.

The best way to cut down on this extra cost? Automate your accounts payable (AP). Aside from the cost of processing these bills, there are numerous reasons you should take advantage of AP automation.

1. Spend less time staring at invoices

Paying bills isn’t fun. Seeing the proper amount taken out of your account when your bill is paid may give you slightly temporary satisfaction but—more likely—you’re experiencing bill anxiety up until that point. Is it worth it?

World-class AP automation software will alert you when your bills are going to be paid so you don’t have to risk overdrafting on any of your accounts, or being hit with fees.

With your AP automated, gone are the days of cross-checking your bills from paper to spreadsheets, through your own process, and then finally through your bank. Take control of your invoice management with an automated workflow.

Quickly pull an audit or report to see what bills have been paid, which ones are pending, and what is still outstanding. Access your invoices to quickly track changes to your bills over time instead of digging through your email, your filing cabinet, or—let’s face it—in the pile of papers on the corner of your desk.

If you need a loan or investment, think how much simpler it will be to share digital versions of your bills—complete with matching transaction histories. You can do this without breaking a sweat when it’s automatically created as part of your workflow.

2. It’s more secure

Accounts payable technology includes encryption to protect customer and vendor information. Online data breaches make big splashy headlines but you’re much more secure with automated AP than you are when you track your bills in a spreadsheet and mail a check to your vendor’s unattended mailbox.

3. Sweet, sweet oversight

Putting everything into your automated AP ensures that you’re only looking at what matters on your bills, and so is the rest of your team. Creating a process gives you the option to look at the data on your bill history in usable reports, or even dig into the nitty-gritty of specific vendors and how they are charging you.

4. Hit those goals

Your business goals aren’t all financial, so the precious brain space that your AP is taking up might be hurting you more than you realise. As soon as you begin automating this area of your business, you’ll free up your time for more strategic activities. This forward-thinking mindset will serve you and your goals well in the long run.

5. Eliminate errors

Manual data entry across multiple spreadsheets, accounting files and payment records leaves you open to human error or worse, duplicate payments. Nix these both by automating your AP. Your accountant, who has to find the discrepancies and resolve them in your accounting system, will thank you later. As will your accounting bill.

6. Give your team—and the planet—a break

When your AP is automated you will save costs on printing paper bills, storing paper bills, and then shredding them. The tedious and manual data entry required for manual invoice processing leaves little time for your team to take on more interesting and challenging work. When you’re streamlining with automation, you and your team can take on things like cash flow optimization.

7. Improve your vendor relationships

Whether we like it or not, when you’re an ideal customer you’ll get better service. The fastest way to become an ideal customer? Process invoices for payment on time. Your vendor will likely take better care of you and should issues ever arise for you in the future you’ll get more attentive service. Automate your AP and be the customer that your suppliers love—this one is a win-win!

8. It’s just convenient

Automating your bills takes away the extra thought you have to put into the amount, due date, and vendor you need to pay. When these are automated you spend less time thinking about your bills and, in turn, spend less time stressed about bills.

With all of the other things you need to remember throughout the day, week, and month, by not automating your AP, you’re signing yourself up to the likelihood of forgetting to pay something on time. Remove yourself from the equation and make sure your bills are paid on time every time, no extra thought required. Some vendors also offer discounts for timely automatic payments: it doesn’t hurt to ask if yours do too.

Paying your bills can be hectic, but it doesn’t have to be. Ease the burden of remembering when to pay a bill and doing it manually, especially if you’re an active business owner who is on the run. Learn more about how bluesheets can help!