Rethinking Accounts Payable: Let's Automate Processes, Empower Suppliers and Move from a Cost to a Profit-Center

May 13, 2014 Accounts Payable Adam

ap-adam-paper-pile-rethinking

Accounts Payable Adam here. You may know me as part of the P2P Superheroes dream team, where I managed thousand of supplier inquiries at once and completely eliminated paper from my company. But how did I become a superhero? The first step was rethinking Accounts Payable, and here's the why and how of it.


 

“Did you get my invoice?”

“What is the status of my invoice?”  

“Any chance you can pay me early?”  

“Can you pay me via ACH, so I get the payment sooner?”  

If these questions sound familiar, then chances are you’re tethered to a paper-based account payable process, which means that you spend hours on the phone answering simple supplier questions.  And each day, you’re losing time better spent than processing stacks of paper invoices.

Ultimately, the outdated ways of accounts payable result in our sorting out repetitive, often insignificant tasks, like shuffling invoices between people and departments as we chase down approvals, manually enter data into our ERP and uncover duplicate invoices (or worse--duplicate payments!). Businesses that have yet to implement the technology required to automate these processes are wasting time on simple tasks that can be eliminated from your to-do list forever.

It’s time for us to fight the inefficiencies that are inherent to the accounts payable processes, build business value and rethink AP functions.  

But how do we do this? 

Let’s first start by thinking differently. There’s a better way to do things, and the old, antiquated status quo doesn’t have to remain. By providing suppliers with the visibility into our processes - things like allowing them to submit invoices electronically, giving them insight  into the status of their invoice or being able to update their vendor info without having to call me - take the onus off of AP and finally allow suppliers to be self-sufficient.

And to top this off, by giving suppliers the say in when they are paid, in exchange for a reasonable discount in the case of an early payment, we can empower suppliers all while capturing millions of dollars in early payment discounts. A true win-win.

Innovative solutions like these can turn anyone into an Accounts Payable Superhero like me by providing you with a connection to your supply chain as well as giving suppliers 24/7 access to information that we need through a cloud-based self-service portal:

  • Supplier Self-Services eliminates that need for suppliers to call and ask questions about invoice and payment status. Remember those moments when you’re in your zone and the phone rings? Imagine knocking out your entire to-do list by eliminating these interruptions. 
  • Supplier Information Management allows suppliers to update  their own information, like new addresses and new bank accounts for payments. When you have 10,000 suppliers like we do, removing this burden frees up countless hours.
  • Electronic Invoicing (e-invoicing) takes your manual, paper-based processes to a simple, electronic process to shorten the invoice approval cycle, improve accuracy, provide more transparency into the financial supply chain, and reduce manual work of keying invoices into the system
  • Dynamic Discounting--simply put--adds millions to the bottom line through automating and maximizing early payment discounting, and ultimately, providing direct value to our role in accounts payable. How would your boss react if you could show them how much you’ve saved the company through early payment discounts? I see a pay raise in your future! 

Unfortunately, many accounts payable roles are perceived as purely tactical.  There is no direct link between our job functions and the bottom line, but with Dynamic Discounting and innovative solutions, we can easily quantify how much revenue we are generating for our businesses as we help increase the bottom line and become an Accounts Payable Superhero like me:

For more information on Taulia and how we can help re-invent your accounts payable process, contact us.

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