Are you tired of the endless paperwork, missed deadlines, and miscommunication that comes with manual purchase order management? Look no further than payment automation. With the help of automation software, you can streamline your procurement process, reduce errors, and save time. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of payment automation and how it can help your company optimize its purchase order management system.
What is Payment Automation?
Payment automation is the process of using software to automate payment-related tasks, such as purchase order management. This software allows you to create digital purchase orders and route them for approval, keep track of each purchase order as it moves through multiple stages and approvers, and integrate purchase order tracking with accounting software and custom dashboards for detailed insights into spending. Payment automation can help your company reduce manual errors, increase efficiency, and save time and resources.
Advantages of Payment Automation
Greater Convenience and Efficiency
Traditional, paper-based purchase order management can be a tedious and time-consuming process. With payment automation, you can create digital purchase orders and automate routing between approving parties. This saves time and reduces the risk of lost paperwork or miscommunication. Automated notifications and reminders keep things moving so purchase orders don’t lie forgotten in inboxes. They also make it easy to keep track of which stage a purchase order is in.
Greater Control Over Expenditure
Payment automation allows you to set up conditional routing rules that route purchase orders to relevant parties based on certain conditions, such as order amount or department. This helps ensure that your organization’s procurement policies are followed and can prevent duplicate orders from going through. It also helps to prevent overspending by providing greater control over expenditure.
Fewer Errors, Inconsistencies, and Fraud
Automation drastically reduces errors and vulnerability to fraud by taking manual data entry out of the equation, standardizing approvals, and enabling automatic matching. With payment automation, you can connect your workflow with other business tools, such as SQL databases, to create dynamic forms that automatically populate certain fields when selecting a vendor. You can also set up automatic matching between invoices and purchase orders to flag inconsistencies for review. Automated workflow tracking creates a robust audit trail and builds approvals into the purchasing process.
Standardized, Consistently Compliant Forms
Payment automation software allows you to standardize your forms and workflows, which reduces deviations from your company policy. Using standardized PO forms across suppliers can also take a few minutes out of the process, as employees won’t need to locate each supplier’s form before creating a PO. By standardizing your forms, you can ensure that they are always compliant with internal policies and vendor requirements as well as government regulations.
Reduced Operational Costs
Payment automation can save your organization time, money, and resources by removing much of the manual work from the purchase order process. By freeing up your employees’ time, payment automation allows them to be more productive and focus on what you hired them to do instead of mind-numbing admin tasks.
Greater Transparency and Spending Insight
Accurate purchase order tracking gives you and the purchasing department greater insight into where money is going. Reviewing and analyzing spending patterns can lead to considerable savings. Payment automation software often comes with built-in dashboards that update in real-time. When you can see all your accounts payable expenditures at a glance, it’s easier to trim the fat.
Optimized Business Intelligence
Payment automation can give greater visibility into the status of specific projects. For example, seeing that a key supplier has delivered a shipment early might allow you to adjust your manufacturing timeline or make changes to your inventory. Automated deadlines based on shipping deadlines can allow you to source from alternative vendors to ensure your product launch stays on track.
How to Set Up Payment Automation
Setting up payment automation can be a game-changer for your procurement process. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Choose the Right Payment Automation Software
The first step in setting up payment automation is to choose the right software. Look for software that offers no-code automated workflows and an intuitive form builder. It should also make it easy to create business rules that route forms to the right approvers. Additional features to look for include built-in mobility, role-based access, automated notifications, third-party integrations, cloud-based storage, and in-depth reporting.
Step 2: Customize Your Purchase Order Form
Once you’ve selected your payment automation software, it’s time to customize your purchase order form. Use the form builder to create the perfect digital PO form and set up approval routing rules. Should you need assistance, many payment automation software providers offer no-obligation support options.
Step 3: Establish Conditional PO Routing
Next, set up your workflow using the workflow designer. Establish conditional routing rules to route POs to relevant parties based on certain conditions. For example, an order exceeding a certain amount may trigger additional routing before the PO is processed by the accounts payable department.
Step 4: Deploy and Track Purchase Orders Automatically
After testing the workflow, deploy it with a single click. To track your purchase order, simply go to your task list and view the built-in audit trail for the PO. You can search for specific POs using data in the form and view the current status at any time. Payment automation software often comes equipped with built-in workflow analysis reports, making it easy to track purchase orders, identify bottlenecks, and optimize operational efficiency.
Features to Look For in Payment Automation Software
When choosing payment automation software, look for the following features:
No-Code Automated Workflows
Payment automation software should have an intuitive interface that anyone can use to create workflows. It should also make it easy to create business rules that route forms to the right approvers.
Intuitive Form Builder
Forms are a necessary part of the procurement process. Look for software that comes with an easy-to-use form builder. To avoid wasting time on sending POs back to correct mistakes, the software should also have validation features that check for errors and perform calculations automatically.
As more work gets done on mobile devices, built-in mobility is simply a must. This ensures that employees can get their work done whether they’re on a smartphone or tablet.
Role-based access is another must-have feature. This lets you assign permissions to employees based on their roles and responsibilities.
Whenever a task is assigned to someone, you’ll want that person to be notified immediately. Any payment automation software you choose should make it easy to customize and configure notifications.
Look for software that can integrate with your existing systems. Payment automation software should allow you to connect your workflow with a SQL database and create dynamic purchase order forms that automatically fill in vendor information.
Physical storage is expensive. Look for a solution that can post data to the cloud. This helps you maintain accurate records and provides an audit trail.
Payment automation software with in-depth reports is a must. Measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) helps you measure the efficiency of your workflows. They can also help you identify bottlenecks in a process and areas of improvement.
Payment automation can help your organization streamline its procurement process, reduce errors, and save time and resources. By automating your purchase order management system, you can create digital purchase orders, automate routing between approving parties, keep track of each purchase order as it passes through multiple stages and various approvers, and integrate purchase order tracking with accounting software and custom dashboards for detailed insights into spending. When choosing payment automation software, look for features such as no-code automated workflows, an intuitive form builder, built-in mobility, role-based access, automated notifications, third-party integrations, cloud-based storage, and in-depth reporting. With payment automation, you can optimize your purchase order management system for greater efficiency, transparency, and control over expenditure.