The Ledger No. 8: Accounts Payable

July 8, 2021 Sarah Dameron

accounts payable balance sheet

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of accounts payable and how this position is one of the driving forces behind the accounting department. Read on to see how analytics can help the AP role, what challenges the AP role faces and how automation can help, how AI can give your company a competitive advantage, and why automation is the best match for accounts payable.

weekly ledger accounts payable

Analytics For Accounts Payable

Seventy-eight percent of CFOs want quick access to the right data to back up their decision. Wouldn’t it be nice (awesome even) if we could analyze our accounting data with the click of a button? Fortunately for you (and other accounting professionals), companies like MineralTree - an AP and Payments Automation Software – exist to allow an integrated analytics and interactive visualization tool that gives insights into AP workflows, payment optimization, and cash flow and security. According to Elle Kowal, CPO at MineralTree, “By embedding real-time analytics into the platform, we are enhancing our customer’s visibility and control over their AP processes and providing valuable, actionable insights.”

To explore how analytics can help improve the AP role, head over to AccountingToday.com.

Embracing Automation For the Accounts Payable Role

Times are changing. What was once primarily seen as a back-office function [Accounts Payable] has now shifted. But with these changes comes challenges, and who better to rise to those challenges than the AP role? In fact, AP Specialists spend most of their time sifting through mundane tasks rather than adding any strategic value to their company. Here are a few problems the Accounts Payable role faces (now that most of the workforce is working remotely) and why automation is the solution.

  • Slow, manual processes

  • Late payments

  • Unorganized data and lack of real-time visibility into cash flow

Like any new tool, there are pros and cons. As accounting leaders shift their focus to automation, there are a few things to keep top of mind.

  • Instead of wasting hours on manually keying in thousands of invoices, AP Specialists should leverage automation for faster turnaround time.

  • Creating process workflows and defined rules can help AP teams manage the process more efficiently.

  • Automating frees up employees from low-impact tasks and shifts their focus towards strategic thinking.

To learn more about how to reinvent the accounts payable department, read the full article on CPAPracticeAdvisor.com.

Why Accounts Payable and Artificial Intelligence Are The Perfect Match - What's the Role of Automation?

If you think artificial intelligence is all robots, think again. Take Amazon Alexa for example – you can use it as an alarm clock, search engine, music player, and more. So instead of labeling AI as something to be utilized in the distant future, bring it into your company’s fold now. One process that the accounts payable department can rid off their plate is invoicing. And according to experts, it costs around $11 to and takes eight days to process every invoice. Now decrease that cost and time and you’re well on your way to reaping the benefits of AI. In fact, automation can lower the average cost to process an invoice by 80 percent. However, AI needs to be coddled a little bit before you let it do its own thing. You need to treat this technology like you would your own employee – with defined tasks.

AI can bring great value to a company, but before you make the leap, read the full article on how to control AI (and not the other way around) on SpendMatters.com.

AP Is The Likely Candidate For Automation

If anyone can attest to how redundant inputting transactions into a system are, it’s the accounts payable department. Imagine clocking in at 8 a.m. and clocking out at 5 p.m. only to realize you’ve been stuck on the same low-impact task all day (and not a strategic one either). Here’s some staggering numbers to contemplate: 39 percent of AP professionals cite lengthy process as their number one pain point and 24 percent of AP’s time is spent handling exceptions. You’ve probably gathered than an AP’s time is guzzled up from manual processing, which is why automation is no-brainer. Think of the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ – why spend all your time on basic tasks when you could be focusing on big picture items thanks to automation?

To dive deeper into why automation is the best suitor for the Accounts Payable department, read the full article on Medium.com.

Need help with your AP? check out our accounting solutions tailored to your business needs.

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