Whether it’s reducing the cost of printing checks or increasing invoice processing speed, payment automation has many benefits for companies. Here are five big ones to consider: Manual data entry and two- or three-way matching take time, meaning payments can be late or missed. Automated systems eliminate these delays and provide better visibility.
Streamlining payments with digital methods saves businesses and customers time and money. Unlike sticking a check in the mail, sending a payment digitally ensures it gets to the right hands without requiring manual tracking and approval processes. Some reports indicate that implementing automated B2B payment systems can help companies save up to 64 monthly hours.
The high cost of invoice processing and slow payment cycles associated with non-digital payment methods can be costly for a company. However, leveraging digital solutions to process and approve payments eliminates the need for paper documents, reduces transaction fees, and frees staff to focus on other initiatives.
Additionally, using a B2B payments solution with integrated reporting can help businesses reduce the number of payments they must make. This is because digital payment methods can automatically charge the buyer’s card on file when an invoice is due, eliminating the need for reminders. Plus, many solutions offer cash rebates that can further reduce your business’s payments to vendors. This can add up to thousands of dollars in savings.
Faster Invoice Processing
With the right tools, companies can eliminate the long payment cycle that plagues traditional B2B payments. This makes capturing early payment discounts easier, improving cash flow and ensuring that a company is always prepared for a cash shortfall.
Accounts payable clerks can save monthly hours if the invoicing process is digitized and automated. This extra time allows employees to redistribute their time and resources on other important business initiatives. Businesses can get invoices ready for payment in minutes rather than hours, depending on the solution used.
Moreover, the automation of this process reduces the risk of data entry errors, misplaced invoices, or duplicates. The right tool provides real-time visibility into invoices and payments, clearly outlining all payment details. This transparency helps identify merchants that pay on time and late so that appropriate actions can be taken. This level of transparency can help a company avoid costly mistakes and ensure that the most money goes to the vendors that matter the most.
B2B payments are a vital business function, yet only a few companies rely on old processing methods that take days or weeks. Businesses can get immediate visibility into their financial health and optimize cash flow using a payment automation solution. For example, automated ACH transactions move money directly from one bank account to another, removing the need for businesses to print and mail checks saving on processing costs.
Credit card payments also allow businesses to float cash with revolving balances while providing an easy way for buyers to track and record transactions at month-end. Keeping careful records of payments is essential for accounting purposes and helping resolve any disputes that may arise.
Using a payment automation solution, teams can easily access detailed reports that are searchable by date, invoice number, payment amount, and more, eliminating manual data entry. This information allows teams to make more informed decisions and confidently grow their business. This level of transparency also allows for more accurate budget forecasting and helps organizations reach their true revenue potential.
One of the most significant benefits of implementing automated B2B payments is that it provides more secure methods for processing invoices. Manual processes are prone to errors, from miskeying data to paying duplicates. A B2B payment automation solution catches these mistakes and eliminates them.
Another way to improve security is by encouraging B2B customers to use their credit cards instead of checks. This is a safer form of payment because the card number is only used once and then discarded. This also reduces the risk of a hacker stealing sensitive financial information. When leveraging a B2B payment automation system, choosing one that aligns with your core business goals is critical.
For example, if your company frequently orders goods from overseas suppliers, you need a solution that enables international payments. Otherwise, your workflow will be hampered by the inability to process these payments quickly and securely. Another thing to look for in an AP automation tool is its ability to integrate with your accounting and ERP systems via API. This allows you to use a single interface and streamlines your payment processes.
A primary benefit of automation is gaining more control over your financial processes. This includes more transparency in payment data and optimized cash flow management. In addition, automating payments is one of the most effective ways to reduce your accounts payable workflow.
Reducing the time to pay suppliers and vendors also increases working capital and improves relationships with your partners. You can eliminate paper checks and associated costs with the right automated payment solution. Once an invoice is matched and approved, an automated system automatically creates a payment file for various payment methods (ACH, virtual cards, and checks) without manual intervention.
In addition, you’ll be able to track payment status in real-time for a more transparent payment process. This will help you avoid missed payments, recoup lost interest, and take advantage of early-payment discounts offered by your vendors. This will give your AP team more time to focus on high-value business activities rather than digging through invoices and chasing down approvals.