As businesses move to the new digital era, all segments of a businesses will change and can be difficult for owners and employees. The benefits of moving to a digital workplace is critically important in the world we now live in. Despite all the new tools and software, most AP departments continue to process invoices manually.

Below are key benefits for why your business must streamline their AP processes and outsource the invoice process and approval workflow.

1. Accuracy
When you manually enter data by typing or writing, there is always a chance to make an error. The responsibility of the AP Department is to check and double check for errors. But in a stack of hundreds of invoices, a simple error can cost time and money. By outsourcing the AP invoice process, these errors will go away along with the associated cost of fixing errors.

2. Efficiency
When a business outsources their AP invoice process, their employees can be used in more productive ways and relieves the daily stress of processing invoices. Processing invoices is focused on reading data, manually keying that data then checking the accuracy of that data. As this portion goes away by outsourcing, employees are better suited to use their skills to more of an analytics-focused role and looking for better ways to improve cash flow including quick pay discounts from their vendors.

3. Oversight
Outsourcing your AP processing may make you think that you would be less aware of what invoices need to be paid but the opposite is true. By outsourcing your AP processing, only the relevant invoice data is captured and loaded to an ERP. Rather than have employees open mail, sort and enter data they will be able to have more time to oversee what invoices need to be paid and how quickly the payment is need. This makes the AP process more transparent and by using this data to create reports so they can better understand where their money is being spent.

4. Streamlined processes
Even the best internal processes can hit snags where invoices and/or payments may fall through the cracks. By outsourcing your AP process, the entire workflow, including verifying the data for each invoice, will be eliminated and businesses can concentrate more on analyzing and approving the expense. This process will make sure all the bills are paid on time and even saving money on quick pay discounts. By outsourcing and AP processing, you know exactly where the invoice is in the process and how to fix it if needed. If you to check on the status of an invoice, you can do so with a few clicks.

5. Record keeping
By outsourcing and AP processing, a digital process for this critical business function, you’re also creating an audit trail that a business can follow. If you have paper invoices and sometimes electronic invoices stored in an office or on a network, you know those invoices can get lost, along with critical signatures and payments being missed. Outsourcing and automating ones AP process give you a platform with the ability to track every step of the invoice process and keep the digital record for only as long as you need it by using a standard retention schedule within your ERP system. If you ever get audited or need to send an invoice to a vendor for verification, it’s a simple process to retrieve and send with all the transaction histories that are needed for a particular invoice.