For businesses, payment approvals are a critical part of the accounts payable process. It’s the final stage before money leaves the accounts, and getting it right is essential. However, traditional manual payment approval processes can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and inefficient. Fortunately, automation software offers a better solution to streamline payment approvals, reduce errors, and improve efficiency.
In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into automation software for payment approvals. We’ll explore the benefits of automation, how to implement it, and the best automation solutions for your business. So, let’s get started!
The Benefits of Automation for Payment Approvals
Automation offers numerous benefits for payment approvals. Here are some of the key advantages:
1. Increased Efficiency
One of the most significant advantages of automation is increased efficiency. Manual payment approval processes can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Automation streamlines the process, reducing the time it takes to approve payments and minimizing errors. This allows AP departments to process payments faster and more accurately.
2. Improved Accuracy
Manual payment approval processes are prone to errors, which can be costly for businesses. Automation software reduces the risk of errors by standardizing the payment approval process. This ensures that every invoice follows the same series of steps, reducing the likelihood of mistakes.
3. Better Visibility
Automation software provides better visibility into the payment approval process. With manual processes, it can be difficult to track the progress of an invoice or payment. Automation software provides a real-time view of the payment approval process, allowing AP departments to track invoices and payments more efficiently.
4. Cost Savings
Automation can save businesses money by reducing the time and resources required for payment approvals. With faster and more accurate payment approvals, businesses can take advantage of early payment discounts and avoid late payment fees.
How to Implement Automation for Payment Approvals
Implementing automation for payment approvals requires a clear understanding of your existing workflows and processes. Here are the key steps to implementing automation:
Step 1: Standardize the Payment Approval Process
The first step in implementing automation is to standardize the payment approval process. This requires creating clear, well-defined workflows that can be digitized and automated. Standardizing the payment approval process reduces the risk of errors and ensures that every invoice follows the same series of steps.
Step 2: Route Approvals Correctly
Routing approvals correctly is essential to preventing fraud and embezzlement. This requires a clearly defined hierarchy of approvers, from those who can approve petty cash payments to those who can approve the company’s largest purchases. Creating an organizational flowchart can simplify the approval process and ensure that low-value invoices don’t consume too much time.
Step 3: Request Approvals Electronically
Manual payment approval processes can be inefficient and more prone to errors. Electronic payment approval processes allow AP clerks to send an electronic request to the appropriate individual, reducing the likelihood of lost or late invoices. With the correct routing, approvers can review and approve payment requests quickly.
Step 4: Easily Track Approvals
Tracking approvals is essential for ensuring accountability and reducing errors. Automation software provides a higher degree of visibility and accountability by creating a digital paper trail of every step in the payment approval process. This makes it easier to identify problematic patterns and resolve difficult questions from vendors or executives.
Step 5: Communicate Digitally
Shifting more communication to digital channels can improve the efficiency of payment approvals. Centralizing payment approvals in a single portal that integrates with your existing ERP can simplify communication and keep everyone on the same page.
Step 6: Create a Permanent Audit Trail
Creating a permanent audit trail is essential for ensuring accountability and providing answers when questions arise. Automation software allows businesses to create an immutable electronic record of every step in the payment approval process. This makes it easier to resolve questions from vendors or executives and identify problematic patterns.
Best Automation Solutions for Payment Approvals
There are numerous automation solutions available for payment approvals. Here are some of the best options for businesses:
1. Kofax ReadSoft Invoices
Kofax ReadSoft Invoices is a cutting-edge solution for capturing invoice data. With machine learning and cognitive capture technology, ReadSoft Invoices can “read” invoices and provide accurate invoice data in your ERP. ReadSoft Invoices can handle even the highest invoice volume and can process data in languages other than English.
2. Kofax ReadSoft Process Director
Kofax ReadSoft Process Director is an intuitive software portal that allows AP directors to define automated workflows. With Process Director, error-free invoices can move through the system with minimal friction. Process Director is integrated with SAP solutions, making it easy to identify and correct errors before they become problems later in the process.
3. Kofax ReadSoft Online
Kofax ReadSoft Online is an all-in-one SaaS solution that offers critical functions for businesses with complex AP challenges. Built on top of the cloud computing power of Microsoft Azure, ReadSoft Online is perfect for businesses that are not interested in making large investments in new hardware or software. By offloading the heavy-duty work to the cloud, businesses can maintain and improve their agility without a complete overhaul of their existing solutions.
Automation offers numerous benefits for payment approvals, including increased efficiency, improved accuracy, better visibility, and cost savings. Implementing automation requires standardizing the payment approval process, routing approvals correctly, requesting approvals electronically, tracking approvals easily, communicating digitally, and creating a permanent audit trail. Kofax ReadSoft Invoices, Kofax ReadSoft Process Director.