There are better ways to use your finance team and its skills than filling invoices and taking care of tedious paperwork. And yet, nearly 70% of a controller's time every month is spent, you guessed it, filing and following up on invoices and other traditional tasks. Accounting—specifically accounts payable (AP)—is still largely stuck in the paper age. But with all the digital resources and automation-focused tools available today, your finance team can't move into its next era based on productivity and automation.

Automation solutions like those offered by Wrk can streamline your accounts payable processes, from invoice processing to purchase orders. Removing these time-consuming tasks from your finance team's to-do list will free up valuable hours. You can apply the extra time to higher-value projects and strategies. Not to mention all the benefits of putting accounts payable in one place and digitizing them for big-picture financial planning.

How automation can help

Accounts Payable manages, keeps track of, and sends out payments for business costs. Accounts payable teams are always getting a lot of invoices and purchase orders that need to be checked, approved, and paid. Traditionally, this process involves many tedious steps. But times are changing.

"Automation can solve accounts payable issues on all fronts. Not only does it streamline and centralize invoice and purchase order processing, it also eliminates the risk of human error from each stage of the workflow, saving your business time and money."

Depending on the size of the business, there could be hundreds or thousands of these invoices to process each month. These invoices include payments to vendors and internal travel and business expenses. Also, because accounts payable are done by hand, mistakes like wrong payment amounts, missed invoices, and even double payments happen often.

Automation: the right solution for your process

Automation can solve accounts payable issues on all fronts. Not only does it make it easier to process invoices and purchase orders, but it also takes away the chance of mistakes at every step of the workflow. This reduction can save your business time and money. That is not to say that automation software aims to replace Accounts Payable teams. Automated Wrkflows only eliminate some AP tasks.

If being a finance professional was all about crunching numbers, advanced technology might indeed replace you. But that’s far from the truth. You bring a lot more than that to the table. Your value, with automation, will be amplified. Here are the ways that you will continue to excel.

Empathy: You understand customer needs and motivations and know what questions to ask in a conversation.
Strategy: You understand how your choices support your client’s or your organization’s goals.
Ethics: You know if a decision is compliant with your company’s values or if it breaches regulations.
Intuition: Have you ever met with a client, sensed that something wasn’t quite right, and called them later to gauge their concerns? A computer couldn’t do that.
Leadership: A computer can be fast and efficient but not agile or decisive. Those are human qualities, and if you hold or aspire to a managerial position, you’ll need them in spades.

By automating, they can spend their time and energy on goals that bring in more money instead of doing monotonous tasks that take a lot of time.

Boost productivity while saving on cost

These extra costs add up quickly when hundreds of them are processed monthly. We’ve seen as much as a 90% reduction in billing time, but pretty commonly we see businesses free up around 40 hours a month.

Using AI-powered platforms, teams in charge of paying bills can automate the whole process, from getting the invoice to entering the information and checking the amount. Automation can also speed up the time-consuming process of approving invoices by notifying the right person when their signature is needed and, if necessary, sending reminders. We designed these tools to enhance your AP team's existing capabilities, giving them the support they need so they can do the work that matters.

You can bring your accounts payable into the digital age with the help of seamless automation. 

Bring your accounts payable processes into the digital age with the help of seamless automation. Photo credit: Scott Graham

As the mantra goes, time is money. Time saved in processing invoices is money saved. But mistakes can also add to costs, like late fees, the time it takes to fix a duplicate or the wrong remittance. By digitizing and automating all invoices and payments, the accounts payable team no longer has to worry about small math mistakes or forgetting to send an invoice. A centralized digital interface makes it easy for finance teams to monitor and track invoices. At the same time, alerts can notify staff of missing or late payments.

Out with the traditional, in with the new

You can eliminate the time-consuming data entry associated with traditional invoicing with automation. The AI-powered solution from Wrk delivers invoices, sorts them, and pulls out the needed information before sending them to the approval stage. Notably, the accounts payable Wrkflow can validate purchase order sums, matching them with other relevant documents for consistency. Automating this step also reduces the risk of human error. This automated process will result in a more robust workflow and accurate financial records.

"Trust us, finance teams will be overjoyed that they can focus more on overseeing cash-flow from a strategic perspective and less on emailing people with incessant invoice follow-ups."

Wrk tailors its easy-to-use automation solution for accounts payable to your business. It can be combined with existing systems like Quickbooks, Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, and DocuSign to make highly optimized and efficient workflows. Finance teams can spend more time thinking about managing cash flow and less time repeatedly sending people emails about invoices.

Digitizing the paper trail

Beyond the valuable hours saved, automating accounts payable has a compelling organizational benefit. By its very nature, automation software digitizes and centralizes all invoices and purchase orders. Practically speaking, this means less of a paper trail, or, more precisely, less paper and a more organized process.

"Traditional accounts payable processes—heavily reliant on physically sorting, routing, and authorizing documents—has become near impossible. Accounts payable automation has thus become even more critical over the past year with the acceleration of WFH."

You can keep all invoice information in the cloud. Teams in charge of accounts payable can access and track payments from anywhere. This approach is vital today, especially since so many work remotely. In this situation, you can't use traditional accounts payable processes. The manual processes rely heavily on physically sorting, routing, and authorizing documents. With WFH getting more popular, automating accounts payable has become even more important.

In addition to making remote work possible, a cloud-based AP database makes it easier to keep vendors updated. This transparency will lead to better relationships. For example, if an outside vendor asks your finance department for an update on an invoice they sent, they no longer have to email different department managers and dig through files to get the information. Retrieving information is truly as easy as the click of a button. Moreover, you can automate your communication with vendors for greater efficiency.

Making big projects digestible and enjoyable

Automating accounts payable also facilitates big-picture financial planning. A looming audit will feel like a manageable undertaking. Save and categorize invoices automatically, and easily put together a list of all payments. Pulling up a digital file is much simpler than digging through thousands of folders and filing cabinets. Centralize the billing paperwork to get a clearer picture of how to manage your cash. This process will enable real-time planning and accurate financial projections. It's in these key areas that your accounts payable team will be able to optimize and ultimately scale your business.

Automate your Accounts Payable Today

As we've seen, automating your accounts payable processes is a great choice. It saves finance professionals valuable time by streamlining invoice processing. It also facilitates new operational trends like WFH and helps keep financial documents centralized and orderly.

Easily integrate Wrk's Accounts Payable Wrkflow into your business operations. Pair it with a number of our other finance-focused Wrkflows, including accounts receivable, employee reimbursement, tax management, and payroll. Implement our AI-driven solution today and stay ahead of the curve for the new era of automated accounting.

Explore our entire suite of Finance & Administrations Wrkflows and learn more about how they can revitalize your business processes.