Accounts Payable
15 key benefits of accounts payable automation

15 key benefits of accounts payable automation

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Looking to streamline your AP? Accounts payable automation can help. From time and cost savings to enhanced security, here are 15 benefits of AP automation for your finance team and your business.

Need to sell AP automation to the C-suite? Download our free guide: "The Businesswide Benefits of Financial Automation."

Benefits of accounts payable automation

1. Time savings

Automating AP processes can eliminate manual tasks like data entry and collecting approval signatures, saving valuable time for more strategic work. AP automation also increases productivity, allowing for better resource allocation within the organization.

How much time can AP automation save in a real-world setting? Surveyed BILL customers report saving, on average, a whopping 50% of their time on accounts payable.*

2. Cost savings

AP automation increases efficiency dramatically, so you can scale your business without having to ramp up your staffing. On a day-to-day note, it also saves money on check stock, stamps, envelopes, paper, and even storage.

3. Convenient, low-cost data storage

Automated systems offer a secure, organized way to store your financial data, eliminating the need for physical storage space and reducing the traditional costs associated with document management. This not only saves space but also makes it easier to organize and retrieve information when needed.

4. Reduced errors and improved accuracy

Accounts payable automation can reduce manual data entry while eliminating the need to enter data more than once. Advanced, AI-powered automation can even validate entries against existing records using 2-way or even 3-way matching. This minimizes the risk of human error, leading to fewer mistakes and improved accuracy.

In fact, 86% of customers surveyed say BILL helps them reduce errors.*

5. Greater visibility and insight

Automation provides real-time visibility into your vendor invoices and other bills, so you can easily track payments, analyze spending patterns, and identify upcoming cash needs. This visibility helps you make more informed financial decisions, leading to better financial control—74% of BILL customers surveyed found that BILL gives them valuable visibility into cash flow.*

6. Better use of payment terms

The visibility you gain from AP automation can also help you take advantage of early-payment discounts and avoid late fees. By optimizing your use of payment terms, you can improve cash flow management, reduce late payments, and strengthen relationships with your vendors.

7. Improved data transparency

With automated AP systems, you can easily access and share financial data with other stakeholders, from the C-suite to potential lenders or investors. Automated systems can generate detailed reports and analytics, providing valuable insights into your company's financial health.

8. Fraud protection and data security

Automated AP systems offer enhanced security measures to protect against fraud, helping to keep your financial information secure. Encryption, authentication, and automatic audit trails (and much more) help ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive information.

9. Business systems integrations

Automated AP platforms can integrate seamlessly with your other business systems, like your ERP or accounting software, for a more efficient and connected financial ecosystem. Automating your AP process can help ensure that your financial data is accurate and up to date.

10. Multiple payment methods

Automation gives you the flexibility to choose from multiple payment methods, such as ACH transfers, virtual credit cards, or international wire. (BILL even lets you pay by credit card when your vendor doesn't take credit cards.) 

11. Improved vendor relationships

AP automation can provide real-time visibility into payment status, letting vendors track their invoices through the process of approval and payment without having to call your team. Plus, with automation, you can schedule payments in advance, ensuring timely payments and keeping vendors happy—83% of customers surveyed say their vendors are more satisfied now that they receive payments from BILL.*

12. Remote AP management and approvals

With automation, your AP team can access and process invoices from anywhere, ensuring easy collaboration for remote, distributed teams. Plus, it’s faster—67% of customers agree that the BILL payment approval process is 2-3 times faster than other methods.**

AP automation even lets approvers review and approve invoices on a phone app, so operations can continue uninterrupted despite sudden travel or other unforeseen circumstances.

13. Easier compliance auditing

Automated AP systems can maintain an automatic audit trail of every touchpoint along the way, from invoice entry to payment. This makes it easy to generate reports, track compliance, and audit AP systems—even offering view-only access to external auditors.

14. Streamlined reporting

In addition to audit reports, accounts payable automation offers streamlined reporting for many other financial needs. Automated systems can provide insights into payment status, vendor performance, cash flow, and even the AP process itself, providing valuable information about your company's financial health.

15. Scalability

Last but certainly not least, AP automation offers the scalability that manual processes lack. By automating your accounts payable processes, you can easily scale your payment operations to meet increasing demand—without sacrificing efficiency or accuracy.

Benefits of AP automation from State of Finance Automation 2024
From our State of Finance Automation 2024 Report

Ready to reap the benefits of automated accounts payable?

Automating your AP can revolutionize your financial processes and unlock a host of benefits for your business. To learn more, explore our free guide: "The Businesswide Benefits of Financial Automation."

Or just try it for yourself, risk-free.

* Based on a 2021 survey of over 2000 BILL customers.

** Based on a 2019 survey of over 800 BILL customers.

The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and is for general informational purposes only. The content is provided "as-is"; no representations are made that the content is error free.