Making Vendor Payments Easy with Invoice Automation

Thursday, 17. February 2022 | 0 Comments

vendor payments

Business knows how critical it is to pay vendors for smooth business operations. Delayed payments are frustrating and hamper business trust and relationships. Here, we look at how businesses can make vendor payments faster, accurately, and on time.

What is a vendor invoice?

An average company runs to pay its invoices on time, jumping through a slew of hoops to find a straightforward process that guarantees that vendors, suppliers, and contractors get paid on time to run the business smoothly.

Vendor invoices list the work performed, billable hours, or goods purchased, and provide instructions for when, where, and how to pay for products supplied or services performed, whether handwritten, made in a word document, (PDF), or drafted in customized software.

This article discusses the conventional procedures of invoicing vendors, processing bills, and making vendor payments. We then discuss manual accounts payable operations and how new software technologies such as invoice automation can make B2B payments more manageable and more controlled.


Why do vendor payments get delayed in manual AP?

Manual invoice processing is time-consuming and difficult, diverting personnel’s attention away from other vital activities. In both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions, paper-based payment methods such as cheques and cash are inconvenient.

Manual processing is the second-most pressing issue for treasury departments and the biggest challenge for small firms, according to Bottomline’s 2019 B2B Survey Payments Report. 65% of small firms questioned thought manual payment production was the most challenging obstacle to overcome.

The Manual Steps an Invoice Goes Through Before Payment

These days, paying an invoice may be as simple as issuing a quick money request and receiving it within minutes. However, the invoice processing and payment process takes a little longer and can be more complicated without automation.

Before making a payment, an invoice needs to go through the following manual steps:

  1. The supplier creates an invoice detailing their work, billable hours, the date, the amount owing, and when, where, and how to submit vendor payments.
  2. The invoicer will send it to their customer’s accounts payable (AP) department or system that handles invoices or their principal contact person.
  3. When AP receives the invoice, they manually collect the data and enter it into their system. Then, AP manually attaches supporting paperwork to ensure that the invoice is valid. Once the invoice is verified, AP will forward it to the appropriate department for approval.
  4. Then AP waits for invoice approvals through the manual process and processes the vendor invoice for payment which requires payment within 30 days.
  5. After accepting invoices, AP may need to wait for the next check run to process payments through check or submit the invoice to the preferred payment method.
  6. Finally, the cheque is cut and either mailed or digitally remunerated. As of 2019, 63.8% of businesses used ACH to pay vendors, compared to 80.8% who used paper checks.

These are the manual processes to keep up with today’s fast-paced digital business world, let alone assure manageable processes.

Manual Invoice and the Processing Costs

A single invoice processing manually might cost over $25 or 30$ for organizations with manual stages in their AP operations. Even businesses with well-honed but manual invoice-processing methods can easily spend $10.

Why invest in Accounts Payable Automation

Accounts Payable Automation can provide many advantages, including less time spent on administrative activities, automatic workflows, and faster monthly closes. They can also boost AP department output enormously. FEI claims that fully automated AP departments can process 16 times as many invoices per month as organizations that still use traditional methods.

Modern accounts payable and invoice automation help organizations to download invoices automatically from various portals which saves a lot of effort as just a simple example. 

Conclusion

AP Automation which is more controlled, accurate, and time-saving to process bills, is recommended for firms trying to reduce invoice processing costs. Businesses will shift away from manual AP processes if they have more access to new payment solutions. Companies that fail to keep up with technological progress risk falling behind in the business race.

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