Paperless AP: Everything You Need to Know About Adopting an Automated Accounts Payable System

Paperless AP has been a major trend for several years – and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. What started as a natural part of the digital transformation has turned into a proven way to save both time and money – something every company wants to achieve. Plus, AP automation helps increase accuracy and enhance collaboration. With benefits like that, the real question is: can you afford not to go paperless?

Getting Everyone on Board with Paperless Accounts Payable

In most cases, the benefits of a paperless AP department tend to speak for themselves. But, some companies are hesitant to make the switch. Accounts Payable processors may be concerned about changes to their responsibilities, and IT professionals often wonder how big of a hassle an implementation will be. That said:

  • AP automation software can free up employees to focus on more important analytical tasks. Job satisfaction tends to increase as employees no longer have to deal with monotonous, low-value data entry and invoice processing cycles. Employee turnover often goes down as well.
  • Experienced vendors can integrate their software with a company’s existing ERP or line-of-business system without placing the burden on an internal IT team. And, many providers can configure their systems to the unique specifications of the customer.

Digital document management is a major change for most organizations, and it’s normal for the decision to take some time. But, once everyone is on board, you can start deciding what parts of the AP cycle you can automate –  and start visualizing what that will mean for your company.

What Parts of the Accounts Payable Process Can You Automate?

Nearly every step in the accounts payable process involves paper-based documentation. This includes:

  • Keeping track of what your company has ordered
  • Making notes of every shipment your company receives
  • Collecting paper invoices and making sure they’re correct
  • Matching each invoice to the corresponding documentation
  • Approving the invoice (or reaching out to the vendor to correct a discrepancy)
  • Generating check request for every approved invoice
  • Making sure that payment is sent out ASAP to secure early payment discounts
  • Keeping records of every transaction for potential future audits
  • Storing records offsite once they’re no longer needed

Even in small businesses, where these tasks are all handled by one or two people, automation can make a big difference. But in larger corporations, where there are thousands of transactions to manage each month, the benefits are even more significant. Companies that adopt paperless AP strategies stand to save thousands of dollars in reduced invoice processing costs and earned early payment discounts.

So: what can you do to get started?

Paperless AP Software for Capturing and Verifying Invoices and Routing Documents for Approval

When you transition to an automated accounts payable system, you’ll want to find a software solution that can do several things all at once. IntelliChief’s paperless AP system can help you:

Paperless AP

We can not only keep your invoices and purchase orders neatly organized and instantly accessible, but also take most (if not all) of the manual effort out of your AP workflows. Our software starts with automatically importing invoices and purchase orders from your email, fax server, or local network. You won’t have to have an employee collect and sort your AP paperwork as it comes in.

Then, by working hand in hand with your ERP, IntelliChief’s paperless accounts payable system can automatically validate your invoices and even process many of them straight through. If a supervisor needs to conduct a final sign-off, we can route the invoice to his or her inbox and send a notification. AP workflows are suddenly much less labor-intensive, and much easier for your employees to manage.

Paperless AP Audit Preparation

Preparing for AP audits is also much easier when you go paperless. Instead of physically searching for each specific document that your auditor requests, you can pull up any necessary documentation with a single click. Considering that an auditor can charge hundreds of dollars for a single hour of their time, a paperless AP archive can help you significantly reduce your audit costs by providing sample transactions immediately.

Discover IntelliChief’s Paperless Accounts Payable System

Interested in seeing what IntelliChief can do for your business? We can help you customize an AP automation system for your specific needs. Or, if you’d like to see our paperless AP solutions in action, you can schedule a custom demo with a member of our team. Contact us today to learn more.