AP Automation: A Technology Must For Financial Planning Professionals

Within enterprises today, many financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals shy away from innovative technologies that can make life easier.  For most, static applications such as Excel is their holy grail – as a data repository, in addition to being the ultimate financial modeling and reporting tool.

More sophisticated systems that dynamically import and update on the reporting front as an example are often brushed aside.  Why do people accept this status quo?  The standard response is that they are too complicated to implement and manage.  According to an article published in AFP Exchange magazine (July/August 2014), an opposite assertion is made. The article aptly states that:

“The ideal FP&A technology system can free up financial professionals for important tasks while reducing business risks and minimizing errors from manual processes.”

To this end, Accounts Payable (AP) automation is a technology solution worth considering. Why so?  Because it is a proven approach that is easy to implement (unlike traditional Tier 1 systems) and solves many challenges faced by enterprise FP&A professionals on a daily basis. Some of its key benefits include the following:

  1. It eliminates the need for manual data entry thus reducing human data errors
  2. It promotes cross-departmental routines and collaboration which increases efficiencies
  3. The system auto-populates and updates data for more accurate analysis and decision-making
  4. It provides both standard and customizable reporting templates that offer real-time views of analytics – a must for FP&A folks
  5. It interfaces easily with the most commonly used ERP systems, such as an accounting system
  6. It slashes invoice/purchase order process completion time and costs, thus improving enterprise profitability.

In a nutshell, companies that embrace strategic technologies such as AP automation gain big by getting critical real-time business intelligence through the system coupled with increased operational efficiencies.  By adopting such a solution they kill two birds with one stone. This in turn helps their FP&A professionals realize their ultimate job goal – an improved bottom line.

For more information on how AP automation can help your business, contact us today.