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How AP Automation Solutions Are Changing Accounting

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If you're a business owner that is hesitant to adopt automation in your accounting processes, there's a lot you'll want to know about AP automation. It may not be a method you're most comfortable with, but:

  • Too much of your time is wasted on manual entry: The time it will take you to convert printed text files to digital data text manually can take days, weeks, or even months, depending on the pile. Automation can do it in a matter of seconds. 
  • AP automation is more cost-effective and efficient: Eliminate manual AP tasks by switching to automation. You'll gain more control over costs, increase spend transparency, and reduce unnecessary spending (i.e., manual hours wasted, check fees, invoice processing costs, etc.).
  • Kaizen can help: The transition to automation isn't on your shoulders. Kaizen will help from start to finish, ensuring the entire process is hassle-free and seamless. 

As Roy T. Bennett once insightfully said, "Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone." Here's how AP automation solutions are changing accounting and how your small business can take advantage right away!

 

LIFE BEFORE AP AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS

Life before automation solutions is like life before the digital era in general — it was sufficient at one point, but eventually, it is time to move on and take advantage of modern-day advancements. Otherwise, you risk falling substantially behind. 

A typical day for accounting staff is generally the same, checking and ensuring expenses are paid:

  1. Type in data from your invoices to your accounting system.
  2. Check and recheck invoices to ensure accounts and costs are correct.
  3. Link invoices to purchase orders.
  4. Consult the department head for verification and signatures.
  5. Process all your payments and send them through the mail.
  6. File away all your paper receipts. 

Give or take a few more small — but just as time-consuming — tasks, and you have a great look at the average days before AP automation. The whole process can put a halt to financial success with tedious work. Too much valuable time is allocated to small tasks, leaving less time for tasks that contribute to more revenue, profit, and growth. 

the power and security of cloud-based accounting

 

WHAT IS AUTOMATED AP?

Automated AP is accounting software that digitizes account payables, like the vendor invoice process, through automation. In other words, there’s no need for manual data entries and you gain numerous benefits, including more security, efficiency, transparency, and accuracy.

While manual entries risk human errors from big-finger typing and bored/distracted staff, automated AP systematically completes all the minuscule AP tasks for you. This can significantly contribute to cost savings, but even more so in attracting and retaining talent.

Harvard Business Review reports that at least 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work. Automation talent will undoubtedly find more meaning in their jobs than manual data entry workers.

What's more, the time and cost of automation compared to manual input are undeniable. There's a clear difference between scanning papers and letting technology do the work versus sitting for hours on end, typing out files word for word. Even the thought of it sounds boring, and studies show this is a problem: between 43% and 53% of your workforce is bored.

Automated AP opens up more time for your staff to focus on the job roles that attracted them to accounting in the first place, the tasks they were knowledgeable and passionate about. Leave the small tasks to the software. 

 

THE FUTURE OF AP

To be blunt, the future of AP is automation.

Most businesses are already taking part in accounting automation, with at least 64% of small businesses currently using some kind of automated accounting software. That number is expected to increase as the word continues to spread about the value and potential to save so much time and money. 

By 2024, the global Accounts Payable Automation Market size will grow from 1.9 billion in 2019 to 3.1 billion. That's a Compound Annual Groth Rate (CAGR) of 11% in five years' time! Automation is quickly gaining traction, especially in accounting, and businesses are quick to notice and take advantage of the opportunity. 

The following benefits of AP automation lead to its bright future:

  • More control: with more control over user access to account payables, companies are experiencing fewer fraud-related activities. 
  • Faster service/valuable time saved: processing times for payables are easily reduced from days to minutes. 
  • Improved quality and efficiency: there's no room for error in accounting — your numbers have to match up. Automation syncs between invoices and orders faster and more accurately. 
  • Cost-savings and productivity: many factors contribute to the increased productivity and cost-savings a company experiences when transitioning to automation. Either way, the results are the same — accounts payable automation software can save a business $16 or more per invoice.

Take Advantage of AP Automation Solutions With Kaizen

Much of accounting is transitioning over to automation, with forecasting even predicting that any task that can be automated will be in the future. AP automation — or automation, in general — may be fairly new right now, but it is still much more efficient and beneficial than traditional manual entry.

What's more, it's only the beginning. The fact that it is a newer advancement only means there is still room for more substantial advancements and capabilities. The sooner you take advantage of AP automation solutions, the sooner you become more familiar with it than the old, manual way, and the sooner you start benefiting from its potential. 

Schedule a meeting with Kaizen today to get more insight into the value of AP automation. In the meantime, take a look at your staff and consider the valuable time you will give back to them to make their work experience more enjoyable.

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