How to apply best practice to your accounts payable process

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Ineffective management of the accounts payable process can negatively impact business operations and controls, resulting in increased transaction expenses for the business.

We all know cash is king, but your suppliers could suffer greatly if invoices aren’t paid on time, leaving you with further costs incurred from late fees, delays, etc. This could quickly affect your cash flow by not having the correct processes in place to streamline invoice processing.

Below, we’ve put together a list of best practices for your accounts payable invoicing process and software. Use them to enhance your operations so your business saves time and money.

Review data quality regularly

Consistent visibility into your financials, including your accounts payable data, assures that you keep tabs on your cash flow, providing more line-level data to drive strategic decisions. But if the quality of your data is flawed, or your software isn’t capturing the right data correctly, then you could be working from inaccurate insights, throwing money down the drain, and delaying the time spent processing invoices in your business.

Intelligent data capture is now a realistic option for companies everywhere. It solves the inherent inaccuracies and inconsistencies of OCR.

CloudTrade’s Universal Capture for e-invoicing provides one solution for the automation of all types of inbound invoices, including PDFs and images, low and high volume. It is the only solution on the market that can be specifically tailored to your business requirements, is suitable for enterprise businesses as well as SMEs, and fully automates the ‘short tail’ as well as ‘long tail’ invoices while maintaining optimum levels of data quality.

So, if you want the potential of the most accurate line-level data available with 100% accuracy for extraction, reviewing your current data quality and reviewing how it can be improved with technology could be a complete game-changer for your business.


Standardize your accounts payable processes

Without an established system in place, your Accounts Payable department can’t possibly work efficiently. Develop processes that improve blockages within your systems, streamline process handoffs and minimize human input, therefore reducing the number of errors made. Any unnecessary or redundant steps can be removed. Think about it, what’s causing the friction in your current Accounts Payable operations?

  • Are you working in a large company where AP processes become more disjointed?
  • Do you have multiple AP departments in your business?
  • Are multiple people reviewing and approving invoices with plenty of pushback?
  • Is your business losing money due to costly mistakes?

You could be wasting your resources on a process that can be easily streamlined with invoicing software. Digitizing and automating invoices, orders, statements and other tasks are just a couple of suggestions when considering how a solution like CloudTrade can speed up your processes. If you can process documents without active input from your team, you’re putting both time and money back into your business’ hands. And with less human input, you can cut the costs on mistakes made with your usual process.

Eliminate manual data entry, automate the processing of inbound invoices, and verify accuracy all with one solution. Automation of the backend processes helps you focus on the important tasks, like making payments on time, maintaining excellent supplier relationships, and with line-level information, make decisions on spending. More importantly, the above will free up your team to focus on those critical projects that keep you moving forward.


Minimize invoice fraud

Identifying invoice fraud alone is an incredibly time-consuming process for your team to focus on, causing a great deal of worry and adds risk for your business. Having the technology that raises the red flag as soon as the invoice is received is much more preferable.

With CloudTrade’s Invoice Fraud Protection software, we identify and detect suspect fraudulent invoices as they arrive. These invoices are then flagged to your team to make decisions as to how to proceed, giving your team back the control and slashing the risk of paying fraudulent invoices.

Nip fraudulent invoices in the bud so you can focus on paying the invoices that meet the criteria of genuine payment requests. Your business can be protected in a matter of weeks.


Target the late payment challenge

Late payments are too common nowadays. It’s acceptable to think that the problem stems from under-investment in technology or the inability to scale a physical workforce, rather than a conscious decision to pay suppliers late.

In the long run, under-investment inevitably leads to backlogs, with delays in getting suppliers paid spiraling. And for those organizations that do choose to invest in full-scale digital transformation, it can take months (often years) to see material improvements in processing times. With CloudTrade, it can bolt on to any existing ERP or FMS providing results in weeks without complex integration or the requirement for a full digital transformation project.

The majority of suppliers will already use an ERP which can issue application-generated invoices, which can be emailed to customers and processed 100% accurately and digitally by CloudTrade. It means adoption is rapid and large scale, with application-generated PDFs received the same day as an email attachment and processed within terms, removing paper from the process entirely. Indeed, CloudTrade had over 6,000 organizations send in documents last month alone.

By investing in our technology, your business can further benefit by empowering fewer resources to manage the accounts payable process, all while increasing processing accuracy, accelerating invoice processing, and optimizing payment timing. Approached with the right solution, this can strengthen corporate cost management, reduce process complexity, minimize the risks associated with routine transaction processing and enhance vendor contract compliance.

Download our guide to get more tips on enhancing your e-invoicing processes.