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Here's How to Automate Your AP Process (Part One)

Businesses continuously seek methods to streamline operations and cut costs in today’s fast-paced world. The accounts payable (AP) process is one area where many agencies and other organizations might profit from automation.

AP automation requires carefully assessing your current process, switching to e-invoicing, automating data entry, implementing approval workflows, setting up payment processing, and monitoring and optimizing the process. And all of this is no small effort! Additionally, setting clear goals, training your team, communicating about status, and continuously improving is essential.

Why should you put in the effort? Because the efficiencies gained will be significant. Additionally, the benefits of AP automation include minimizing the time and resources needed to manage invoices and payments, increasing accuracy and compliance, and gaining better insight into their cash flow by automating this crucial financial activity.

Evaluate the way you do things currently

Before initiating a Laserfiche automation project, the first thing to do is to evaluate how the current process is running. That will allow you to pinpoint any bottlenecks, such as manual data entry or a lack of visibility into payment status, identify key stakeholders, and remove unnecessary steps.

At this stage, you must remain unbiased and question the entire business process and any current automated or manual steps. This involves understanding how your organization receives, processes, and pays invoices. It’s important to note that simply automating the manual process isn’t a best practice, and it’s essential to get to the whys of how they do things. Remember to work closely with the accounting team and ensure they have bought into the proposed process.

When you have finished your evaluation, you’ll have a clear understanding of the baseline of the automation project and (hopefully) come up with clear goals for improving the AP process.

Develop your plan

Once you have assessed how the process operates, you should devise a plan to help you break down how to automate accounts payable processes. This plan should include

  • The complete vision of the automation process.

  • Create flowcharts that will visually represent how each process is being executed.

  • Identify key stakeholders and involve them in this transition.

  • How you should manage the resistance to change.

  • Which systems are available for integration

When finalized, this plan should be shared with higher management to get their buy-in and approvals before the implementation phase begins.

Stay tuned for part two of this series!



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