How AP Automation Helps Controllers
For controllers in real estate, the benefits of AP automation can be broadly grouped into four buckets:
- Easier cash management
- Timely execution of AP
- Easy audit management and reporting
- More fraud controls
1) Centralized Invoice Processing Makes it Easier to Manage Cash
AP automation helps controllers ensure invoice processing is swift, digital, and centralized. Gone are all the filing cabinets and stacks of invoices piled up on desks.
AP teams can process invoices – and store them – in one online software platform that’s easily searchable. With most AP automation software, users can search by invoice date, vendor, or amount. Everything is at their fingertips, whether the AP team processes 200 invoices a month or 15,000 invoices a month.
Plus, users can see the status of invoices in real-time – i.e., which invoices are pending approval and which invoices are submitted for payment. This makes month-end and year-end closes much more accurate, and helps controllers better monitor cash flow and plan for future purchases.
2) Timely Invoice Approvals and Payments
At the same time, AP automation also speeds up the readiness to pay and the time to pay.
Once an invoice has been ingested into the platform, it’s automatically sent to the right approvers, as determined by previously established approval workflows.
Some companies, like Nexus AP automation, let authorized users (usually the controller) create approval workflows based on myriad different criteria such as region, dollar amount, over budget amount, GL, etc. They can create new approval workflows by copying existing ones, and easily remove invoices from a workflow when things change. They can also identify approval bottlenecks.
All of this makes the controller’s job easier because all their invoices get processed accurately and quickly.
In fact, with Nexus, time-to-process an invoice (from invoice receipt to ready-to-pay status) takes an average of 4.4 days, almost a week faster than the 10-day industry average.
Plus, payment is faster too. By automating payments, there’s no need to track down approvers, cut manual paper checks, stuff them in envelopes, and slip them in the mail. It’s all online.
That can help speed up payments because it takes buyers about 50% less time to process them. Controllers can also make real-time decisions to issue swift payments to certain suppliers, if needed.