6 Ways to Modernize Your AP and Take it to Mach Speed

November 18, 2021

3 min read

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When your AP and procurement teams manage all their tasks with paper, spreadsheets, and inter-office mail, it can feel as if you’re spinning your wheels. Getting nowhere. But with AP automation software, you can eliminate all the waiting, delays, and errors – and process invoices and issue payments in half the time.

Plus, you can reduce costs and gain more transparency.

It’s like the difference between a trip with the Wright brothers’ versus flying the Concorde.

With Invoice Automation, Cut Invoice Ingestion Time and Processing Time

As soon as you “go electronic” with your invoice process, you’ll start seeing cycle times drop – often precipitously. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Touchless invoice ingestion – Instead of opening and scanning in paper invoices, you can simply log online and see all your invoice data digitally without having to do the ingestion yourself. (With Nexus, suppliers can upload their invoices in a portal and submit them directly to you, having 40% off ingestion time).

2. Automatic approval routing – Automation platforms also allow you to set up rules and approval hierarchies for invoices. For example, once an invoice is approved by a Property Manager, it can be routed automatically to the AP Manager for a final OK. There’s no more running from office to office to get sign off on invoices. With Nexus, this can eliminate about 50% of the time spent on invoice approvals.

Work More Efficiently with Electronic Procurement

Some AP automation software platforms include procurement functionality that will give you the heads up before any purchases are made and let you buy goods and services at your pre-negotiated prices. This not only saves you money, but it can shave off 70% of the time to manage procurement. Here’s why:

3. Electronic purchase orders – These digital contracts can be generated in the AP automation software, routed to approvers, and then sent to the supplier for fulfillment. This electronic process helps cut down on errors and all the back-and-forth because everything is on paper in a standard format. E-POs also allow your organization to track spend in one centralized place, compare it to actuals and budget, and keep everyone accountable. No more guesswork or conjecture.

4. Electronic procurement catalogs – These catalogs look, feel, and behave almost like regular e-commerce websites, but they pull in your pre-negotiated pricing – and tie in seamlessly with e-POs. Your team can simply shop for the item(s) they need, place in a shopping cart, and create an electronic purchase order in a matter of minutes. No more toggling between endless tabs and searching for the best pricing.

Issue Vendor Payments in Hours, Not Days

By automating your vendor payments, you can cut time issuing payments by up to 50%. You can also reduce your payments costs by 40%.

5. Automated Payments – Instead of generating, signing, and mailing 100s of checks, you can tap automated payments and pay suppliers with a few keystrokes. You simply generate a file of approved invoices and submit it to your AP automation software. Designated approvers can then review/approve the transactions, and your vendors will get paid through electronic payment methods like virtual card or ACH.

6. Supplier Self-service – The same portal that allows suppliers to submit their invoices directly to your AP automation tool often allows them to track their payments as well. Suppliers can simply log online to see if/when their invoices and payments have been approved/issued. They’ll no longer need to call your team with status inquiries.

With all these time and cost-saving features, it’s time to fly with AP Automation and leave all the paper, post-its, and paperclips in the dust.