As an accounts payable professional, it’s no secret to you that the AP process and team are the unsung heroes of any business. Did you know that 82 percent of businesses fail due to poor or negative cash flow management? Having a well-run, efficient, and effective accounts payable department can affect a company’s credit standing, cash position, and especially vendor referral and supplier relationships.
However, like any process that is vital to a business, the accounts payable process is not without its woes. In this article, we’ll cover the top five strategies you need to know when modernizing accounts payable and hopefully demystify some of the common myths surrounding most AP processes and systems.
1. You Shouldn’t Spend All Your Time Chasing Down Invoice Approvals
Famously, the three main tenets of real estate are “Location, Location, Location.” When it comes to accounts payable, it seems like the three main tenets are “Approvals, Approvals, Approvals” – and not in a good way. It’s one of the most time consuming parts of accounts payable. But it doesn’t have to be!
Stampli’s contextual communication and AI-powered accounts payable software brings the approval process into the 21st century. Which replaces the manual processes of tracking a paper invoice from one department manager’s desk to the next. Only for the invoice to become lost or not provide enough information to get approved in the first place. Stampli brings the entire approval process into a single, streamlined, digital portal – where all communications are centered around the invoice.
Stampli allows AP and approvers to include anyone in or outside of your organization to participate, comment, answer questions and add supporting documents or information to each invoice approval stream. The entire conversation takes place within Stampli and the invoice in question is always front and center. By centralizing the conversation around the invoice itself, fewer mistakes are made and approvals happen faster.
With Stampli, the accounts payable approval process comes out of the dark ages and into your complete control. Instead of waiting and waiting for someone else to pass the approval buck, Stampli lets you empower everyone on your team to efficiently provide information to speed up the approval process. Approvers can add additional invoice approvers and can even add vendors or external approvers into the approval stream.
Stampli gives you the power to streamline all internal and external verifications that might be required so you can kiss tracking-down-the-right-person-without-the-right-information goodbye!
2. You Don’t Need a Huge Accounts Payable Team to Have a Badass Accounts Payable Department
Companies big and small are digitally transforming their accounts payable process to become more efficient, more accurate, and ultimately more secure.
A big driver behind digital transformation, is AI (Artificial Intelligence). AI should help your Accounts Payable department become more efficient and reduce some of the manual heavy lifting to make the approval decision process faster. It doesn’t replace the role of AP, just allows them to do more in less time. Once you embrace an entirely digital AP software solution, you’ll see the benefits immediately. Which enables your AP department to start focusing on expanding vendor relationships and growing business.
3. Artificial Intelligence is Accounts Payable’s (and Your) New Best Friend
We’ll let you in on a little secret: artificial intelligence is the best thing to happen to accounts payable since the stamp pad. AI is one of the most powerful tools you can add to any AP department.
As an AP professional, you know that all invoices aren’t complicated. But, they are all different. It can take valuable time to decode and locate the information you need to track the invoice. Every time an invoice is uploaded into Stampli, our AI, affectionately known as Billy, effortlessly proposes the invoice code, vendor information, and invoice date. Moreover, Billy automatically allocates GL and cost centers to help AP make faster decisions.
Stampli uses artificial intelligence to cut down significantly on manual data entry. One great thing about Billy the Bot (besides being cute – really, he’s the cutest little bot) is he’ll never get exhausted or frustrated looking for and recording all the necessary data to track your company’s invoices. In fact, he loves it!
But that’s just the beginning.
Billy’s AI is also smart enough to automatically assign approvers and prevent duplicate invoices. Research shows that every year companies pay an alarming number of duplicate invoices. And while most accounts payable software out there checks for duplicate invoice numbers, Stampli’s proprietary AI goes a step further. Billy has the ability to compare the invoice content including vendor name, amount, and line item details. Which dramatically reduce the number of duplicate invoices for our customers.
4. Communication with Approvers and Vendors on Invoice Approval Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to accounts payable processes is the idea that communicating on invoice approval is an insurmountable task. It makes sense. Trying to get everyone necessary to approve an invoice on the same page, or rather the same invoice, can seem like wrangling cats. But, fortunately, with the right tools at your disposal, collaboration can be easy (and fun!).
As it turns out, invoice management is all about effective communications. That’s why Stampli is built on a conversational foundation, with the invoice at its core. Accounts Payable, approvers, employees, and vendors all come together in one place. When you provide your organization with a communication tool users love, they immediately become more invested in the process. Thereby, increasing their accountability in the process.
Imagine a world where all of the necessary parties respond quickly to questions and approval requests. What does that mean for your accounts payable department? It means a processing timeline that is up to five times faster than a standard process.
Additionally, we built Stampli’s innovative accounts payable tools knowing that no two invoice processes are exactly alike. We’ve taken that into consideration and designed Stampli to flex to your organizations specific requirements.
When effortless communication becomes the default for your accounts payable process, you’re one step closer to AP nirvana. Approvers are happier, vendors get paid on time (which makes them happier), and your AP team doesn’t have to waste time just trying to get the right person’s sign off – which makes you and the entire department pleased!
5. Modern Solutions are Effortless with Stampli
Our user interface is naturally intuitive so people know what they need to do. Stampli’s account payable system fits into any P2P process your company has in place and was built in a way that doesn’t require an elaborate implementation undertaking or repetitive maintenance. Therefore, you’re not changing any processes and people do not need to be retrained.
This begins with installation, the Stampli system is easy to setup and immediately starts learning your organization based on every invoice and workflow entered into the system. In addition to the data from your ERP accounting software. This is a fast and easy accounts payable installation and is not a laborious implementation project that last for months, it is simply effortless. A modern solution for the modern process and it doesn’t stop there. You will find that when you have more time to focus on what matters, you can take your accounts payable process to the next level.
It’s Time to Take Your Accounts Payable Process to the Next Level
Hopefully this article helped you understand how to modernize your accounts payable department. At Stampli, we’ve made it our purpose to bring AP into the present, by providing innovative technologies to increase productivity and efficiency. Above all, Stampli has the accounts payable chops to save your company both time and money. What are you waiting for? Learn how your team can work smarter, not harder.