3 Ways Accounts Payable Automation Helps Protect Your Business

A pandemic, a recession and a rising cost of running your business, it’s been a challenging couple of years with countless disruptions.

So, you’ve kept your business going…you now need to protect your company going forward!

The new work-from-home trend, which represents a significant structural shift in how businesses operate since the beginning of the pandemic, appears to show no sign of abating. Cyberattacks and threats are here to stay, too. And corporations are still undergoing huge digital transformations to stay ahead of the growing tech world.

What should you do to ensure that you not only survive, but also thrive?

Accounts Payable Automation!!

By automating your accounts payable process, you are helping to protect your business for any future disruptions that may happen. Below, we take a look at three ways that accounts payable automation helps to protect your business looking into the future.

1. Cybersecurity / Payment Fraud

Since the start of the pandemic, the world has seen a huge rise in scam attempts as hackers and fraudsters have attempted to hack into smartphones and home computers by taking advantage of the varying work-from-home environment.

Home networks may not always be as secure as those in offices.

Consider this to get an idea of the severity of these issues:

In a Deloitte poll, 69% of global leaders surveyed noted a significant increase in cyberattacks at their companies, while 72% of survey respondents indicated their organisations experienced between one and ten cyber incidents and breaches in the last year alone.

The pandemic and the change in the workplace also contributed to an increase in payment fraud. Business email compromises continue to be a cause of attempted and actual payment fraud.

Accounts Payable (AP) departments continue to be the department most susceptible to business email compromises with 58% of survey respondents indicating their AP departments were compromised through email scams, according to the Association of Financial Professionals 2022 report.

In one of the more common scams, the perpetrator emails a worker posing as a senior executive from the business; giving the employee instructions on how to release customer data or authorise a payment. This sees employees frequently duped by the con.

Surprisingly, over 60% of a recent poll named their Account Payable department as the company department most frequently exposed to this kind of fraudulent behaviour. This kind of attack can affect your company’s financial stability; with additional time-consuming and expensive business interruptions.

2. Hybrid Workforce

Since the beginning of 2020, a record number of workers have done all or most of their job from home.

Here are some recent statistics that illustrate the size of this hybrid workforce trend:

  • An overwhelming 94% of businesses are giving more flexibility in where and when employees work.
  • An Accenture study found that 83% of employees indicated a hybrid model—where they work from home 25% to 75%—would be the best.
  • And almost two-thirds (63%) of fast-growing businesses have made work-from-anywhere options available to their staff.

This shows that being able to complete these duties securely, swiftly, and precisely at any time is now a requirement rather than a “nice-to-have” for employees.

Whether employees are logged in at the office, working from home, or anywhere else, Accounts Payable/Invoice Processing automation solutions enable businesses to reduce paper and stay on track with bills.

3. Increase Visibility & Promote Business Continuity

A recent poll shows that 96% percent of CFOs intend to digitize Accounts Payable activities over the next year.

Visibility is now a significant factor in the growth of automating your AP process.

Does your business struggle frequently to locate invoice and payment data as quickly or readily as they would like to? According to a Grant Thornton poll of CFOs, 74% say that quick access to the right data is important.

Software for AP automation aids in resolving these visibility issues. Using an account payable solution, you can see the status or total of an invoice, the date that payment was sent, or the quantity of unresolved invoice exceptions. Using AP automation, you can quickly and accurately find this data – and resolve any issues.

When using paper-based techniques it can be difficult to find what you need, when you need it; giving you only limited access to invoice and payment data

By digitizing this process, you can see and understand key information including spending, cash flows and financial analysis.

Due to the ease of finding all information on the same consolidated platforms, duties like cross-referencing and audit trails may be completed more quickly and accurately without having to visit the office for physical paper invoice checking.

Another strength of Accounts Payable automation is business continuity.

Due to the reliability of AP automation, businesses can be more flexible and visibility is made easier. This is vital with cutting down business disruptions a key component of protecting your company; allowing you to run an effective and dependable operation.

Barriers to an efficient workplace, such as when the one employee in the AP department, who is responsible for managing invoices and payments, leaves the company. When this occurs, it means the remaining staff members are under pressure to work quickly to catch up. Their search for pertinent information about invoices, bills and payments is made easier by an Accounts Payable automation system that stores previous information in one location.

Why now is the time to make the move to Accounts Payable Automation

In this new market environment, protecting your business has become essential.

Now, more than ever, is an ideal time to make sure your organisation is protected from disruptions due to the significant changes in workplace structures, security needs, and the adoption of digitalization.

How can SmartOffice help your business?

One way we can help with our SmartOffice Accounts Payable solution. This is a smart, powerful cloud-based Electronic Accounts Payable Solution that reduces the cost of processing invoices by up to 80%. Processing becomes a completely touchless experience, supporting remote working, approvals, and full visibility.

Features of SmartOffice AP solution:

Price Watch: Monitor price movements and fluctuations.
Purchase Order Matching: Link your PO system to display the PO, match to the correct invoice and automatically process the document.
GRN Matching: SmartOffice AP can display and/or automatically process invoices that correctly match GRNs.
Statement Reconciliation: Reconciles the statement against processed invoices. Missing invoices are immediately requested.
Delivery Confirmation: Delivery confirmation can be set on any invoice with discrepancies to be automatically sent to your supplier for resolution.
Dashboard Screen: User-friendly dashboard shows you the stages of the approvals process.
Document Tracking: Invoices that require approval are tracked, illustrating whose approval is required and how long approval is outstanding.
Full Knowledge Approval: The user has access to all the information required to make the correct decision, when manually approving an invoice.
Nominal Ledger Coding: Automatic Nominal Ledger coding can be based on any/some of: supplier, line item, PO detail, manual overriding, and branch or project coding.
Issue Checking: The system facilitates ongoing checks for possible issues and retains the invoice for your review/editing as required.
Search and Storage: Stores all processed invoices for 7 years and provides an extensive search facility for users.

Get In Touch & Book Your Free Demo

For more information on our invoice processing software, book your free demo below.