Accounts payable software platforms are rapidly growing in popularity. According to a recent study, the market size for accounts payable automation alone is anticipated to reach $4 Billion by 2025. AP automation solutions and other software streamlines the approval workflow, making the payable process simpler and more efficient. It also protects your company from fraud and often can provide powerful tools like AP invoice process automation.
Through features like automatic machine learning, AI (artificial intelligence), and automated data entry, these platforms help empower your employees. It helps your workforce spend less time on manual invoice processing and other tedious tasks so that they can focus on things like human interaction and vendor relationship development. This change helps your company save on expenses and resources while also keeping your payables team happy. Whether a small business hoping to scale in the future or a large company looking to simplify its complex AP workflow, accounts payable software changes the game.
What is accounts payable software?
Accounts payable software covers a wide range of software that integrate different tools such as automation and workflow management to help simplify your accounts payable and accounts receivable. This software can revolutionize your workflow through helpful features like dashboards that track your metrics, real-time approval notifications, and invoice data capture. These platforms often can take supplier transaction invoices and automate the payment process. Your workflow for purchase orders and other company purchases can be handled through this process so that your stakeholders can review and approve your bills easily and quickly, making the approvals process easy and painless. These programs can be flexible with payment methods to fit what works best for your company.
How to choose the best accounts payable software for your business
With all of the utility that accounts payable software can provide, how do you figure out what is best for your company? Many of these options have an extensive list of ways they can help your company's AP team by supporting their efficiency and scalability. It can be hard to pick which processes are most important, but you can take a few steps to help narrow down what will best support your team.
1. Review your current AP process
First, you will want to take a close look at your current AP process. The best place to go to discover workflow issues is straight to your team. Make time to sit down with them and talk about which parts of their processes cause the most issues and consume the most time. Ask about which specific steps could be eliminated to save the most trouble and to best increase efficiency. By identifying these pain points, you can start to see what features you will want to look out for in your accounts payable software. While you can always guess, your team who works directly with these tools will know best where things like manual data entry most waste their time.
You can also ask your team about which parts of their workflow seem to work the best and why. This identification can help you see what kind of processes best work with your team's skillset and strengths. Then, when looking for software, you know which areas you team already excels in so you can cut costs by skipping those features. It also gives you a window into what software may play best to these strengths!
Once you have identified these areas, you can start looking at software that directly addresses these items. Start making a list of features that you find in your search that seem like they would most directly aid in supporting the hurdles your financial department faces. On top of this, consider areas in the future that could become areas of struggle and where scalability will be most vital. After considering all of these items, you can use them to help find the perfect software that can address your team's biggest needs.
2. Pick software that enables automation
Automation and AI are both huge advancements in AP and AR software. By automating parts of your invoicing, data entry, and AP workflow, you can free up immense amounts of time for your workforce to focus on other things. Remember, automation isn't about replacing your employees but allowing them to focus on more critical tasks. This technology also allows your team to face any level of scalability that your company needs without it being as daunting - processing 100 invoices instead of a dozen is a lot more surmountable when automation is involved.
As your employees save time and start giving human touches to more important processes, you will see improvement in things like supplier relations, analysis, and error-detection. On top of this time saved, automation cuts down on human error from manual entry and speeds up processing time, saving money for the company. You will see not only higher efficiency, but a team that feels that they are able to accomplish more high-quality work without added stress.
3. Look for integrations with your existing accounting software
You can easily implement some payable automation software through seamless integration with your accounting systems or ERP systems. When planning on making the transition to accounting software, get a list of the essential tools already being used by your financial team. Examine which of these tools your team enjoys and uses often, and which they would like to see replaced. Some automation programs offer replacements for certain functionality, allowing you to not only integrate existing software but replace outdated processes.
Once you discover which programs are most important for your team's success, you can look for compatible software. By ensuring that there is integration within the new software, you will make the transition period easier as well. It will not only reduce stress for your team in navigating a whole new suite of tools, but will save your company time and money spent on training for the new products. This intersection will also help your department work together seamlessly regardless of the operation or data analysis project.
4. Include automated tax form collection
A considerable benefit of accounting software is automated tax form collection. By cutting down on this usually manual and arduous task, you save yourself money and your team time. The tedious, manual job of checking and double checking tax information and accuracy can be a huge undertaking that can easily be replaced by a robust automation system. Your team will have the peace of mind around tax season that their work won't double or triple.
Automating this portion of your accounting is a prime example of replacing a task where human error can be extremely costly and risky for the company. One small data entry mistake can lead to legal and financial trouble. Implementing these tools protects your company and allows for mistakes to be easily caught before they cause your company issues. Keep an eye out for software with OCR recognition as well, which is vital in many areas but specifically helpful with tax forms and invoices.
5. Opt for cloud-based software instead of on-premise hosted software
The cloud is the future for many reasons. Cloud-based software is often more secure than on-premise software, something that absolutely must be considered with financial data. Consider the risks associated with any on-premise data hosting, such as lost data due to server damage and security breaches. Many cloud-based software companies ensure top-end security measures, and can do so at a much lower cost than you can.
In addition, on-premise hosting is often expensive and requires consistent upgrading and maintenance to ensure that everything is up-to-date. This price tag doesn't just include security measures, but also physical hardware needed to host some on-premise programs. If a server is needed to store the data, prices can skyrocket quite quickly. Cloud-based software gives you peace of mind and can save you money in the long run.
How Routable's accounts payable software can help
Routable is a flexible, scalable solution that emphasizes top-tier automation capabilities with sophisticated API tools. It allows for importing invoices however works best for your team, from forwarding bills through email to simply uploading them. It can bulk process thousands of payments if needed through API.
This software not only integrates with the accounting software you have (QuickBooks Online, Xero, and NetSuite), but helps you keep that software updated with a seamless two-way sync to ensure smooth sailing for your team. On top of this, Routable simplifies the approval and AP process so that every person involved saves time.
Regardless of which software you choose, remember to consider your team's workflow and how you can best solve challenging steps for your team. Find a platform that has the tools needed to help your team feel empowered. Are you still unsure of your next steps and looking to see what automation can do for you? Schedule a demo with us.