An efficient AP department is crucial for building a good supplier and vendor relationships from maintaining up to date information, making favourable payment terms to making prompt payments. It maintains accurate books to ensure perfect cash forecasts, cash flow and optimized working capital, prevents fraud and financial mismanagement to ensure proper disbursal of funds and keeps the machine running.

Small, medium or large, no business can function without a proper Accounts Payable function. As a critical element of working capital management, Accounts Payable is responsible for the smooth running of the business.

If you have been following our blog you might have already known about our guides, tips and best practices of Accounts Payable Services. And we have always emphasized how technology plays an important role in making most out of your Accounts Payable function. Taking it a step forward, in this blog, we are listing out 5 Accounts Payable tools that can help boost the efficiency of your Accounts Payable function. Read on:

Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Arguably the most essential tools in the kit, OCR can be a saving grace for an AP department that has to manually deal with reams of invoices for data entry and invoice processing.

An Optical Character Recognition System recognises the text in the scanned invoice document to convert them into electronic text in PDF format to help you read, search and input the information automatically into the dashboard. You can not only convert any paper invoice into the format of your choice you can top it off with a slew of other advancements like AI and machine learning to reap more benefits.

Advanced systems capture the paper documents, classifies and indexes them working closely with the document management and accounting system reducing a bucket load of processing team for your team. OCR systems reduce errors, saves time and is an affordable way to improve your productivity if your AP process is marred with heavy manual invoices.

Electronic Document Management System – If your AP department still uses a manual document management system with the hard copies, then you must be well aware of the hiccups in finding an essential piece of the document when you need the most. Not only the documents are not easily accessible the manual system with tons of manual data is tough to maintain and make use of when you need it the most. An electronic document management system with its central digital storage classifies, indexes, stores and makes the document access a simple job. OCR & EDMS lays the pillar for automation of Accounts Payable Process to help you streamline your entire process. With better access to the document, record management and you can easily integrate the system with the workflow to reap more benefits.

Dashboards for Accounts Payable: Earlier every aspect of Accounts Payable function had to detail with bucket loads of information from the invoice files of duty cabinets to accomplish simple tasks, in case any problem arises in the workflow. This manual requisition of invoice data burned a lot of resources, time and efforts further delaying the decisions. Fortunately, to the delight of the AP department, dynamic dashboards for Accounts Payable can now save you from this situation.

Dynamic dashboards that are updated continuously gives an accountant or AP specialists all the information, invoice data and status at their fingertips to enable prompt invoice and monitoring of the invoice bottlenecks to evade potential problems.

Optimized Payment Technology:  Having a payment tool kit with the ability to pay your vendors and suppliers in their preferred payment method can help you reap benefits offered by various payment systems (virtual credit systems). An optimized payment platform with actionable data helps you find the opportunities that you cause to not only make the payment faster but also get paid while doing so.

Intelligent Workflow technology for Accounts Payable: While the above tools for great team members who accomplish the task well, it is the work-flow technology that manages them directs them to deliver an efficient streamlined Accounts Payable Process. Having an intelligent workflow technology in place, your digitization, indexing, invoice approval, auto processing, error handling happen efficiently as the entire process is streamlined by eliminating the confusion among different departments. An intelligent workflow system with its standardized procedures provides better control over the entire Accounts Payable process.

While all the above tools are essentials to boost your AP function, purchasing them based individually may not be as beneficial as possible, if the tools do not fit like hand-in-glove in your existing AP process. Assembling them all can be a costly affair if you are small and medium business enterprise, do we recommend you to select an Automated Accounts Payable Platforms that can integrate all the above tools and even more deliver an accurate, efficient and productive AP process.

Even better, you can outsource Accounts Payable process to a trusted remote accounting firm like Back Office Accountants who with the perfect blend of advanced AP tools and expertise can deliver the most efficient Outsourced Accounts Payable Services for your business. You can contact us here: