Paying with paper checks is expensive, cumbersome, and prone to fraud. So why do so many organizations continue to use checks for the majority of their payments? Part of the reason is that change can be intimidating. The prospect of converting to a paperless accounts payable process means convincing senior management that change is necessary, researching vendors once and managing the implementation across various systems and departments.

Looked at this way, it’s easy to understand why so many organizations hold back on moving to automated payables.

What if there was a proven way to break down those barriers and bring your payables into the 21st century? Here are four steps you can take to pave the way:

  1. Identify where your organization already has automation and if there are any existing gaps. For instance, maybe invoices are scanned at the front end of the payables process but the rest of it is manual.
  2. Make it enticing for suppliers to migrate to electronic payments. Cloud-based payment networks offer many benefits to suppliers by providing them real-time visibility into payment status in a secured environment.
  3. Take stock of your systems and determine which solutions integrate best with what you already have in place. You may find an end-to-end accounts payable solution that will integrate seamlessly into your ERP and existing bank relationships.
  4. Determine the reporting needs of your stakeholders. You’ll find that moving to an automated process provides rich reporting capability with easily digested dashboards that show a comprehensive view of the entire payment lifecycle.

Accounts payable automation is worth the investment. Ardent Partners finds that best-in-class organizations reduce their invoice processing costs by 82% compared to their peers – primarily by reducing time spent on manual tasks related to paper handling. The visibility automation provides gives an unprecedented view into cash flow that can help inform financial decision-making. And if that isn’t enough to convince your organization, maybe the improved payment accuracy and efficiency will – the Aberdeen Group estimates that automation increases invoice processing efficiency by a whopping 74%!

For a deeper dive into how to move your organization from paper to paperless accounts payables, read the full white paper: A 4-Step Roadmap to Paperless Payables

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Posted by Germaine Lang

Germaine Lang is the Managing Editor of SmartPayments with a strong creative and technical writing background across many industries. She also works to engage customers and relate their experiences with vendor products and services, positioning them as innovative thought leaders.