What do accounts payable professionals consider ideal invoice management software? The one that provides automatic processing of invoices and related documents involving no human efforts? Or should such software streamline the whole process and make it more transparent for each participant? What is ideal accounts payable automation software for CFOs? We examined the topic from different perspectives and tried to formulate the main components of accounts payable software having divided them into 4 categories or basic elements.
Accounts payable automation solution should obviously possess necessary functions facilitating invoice management and related processes. It should incorporate all special features that would simplify the whole working process from invoice data entering through seamless validation and approval to fast initiation of payment. In addition, it should provide functions for identifying duplicate invoices and expense reports thus eliminating potential fraud.
Automated invoice data logging process should be easier and quicker than a manual one. Using Optical or Intelligent Character Recognition technologies helps identify and capture essential data from different invoice forms. Such invoice data as addresses, terms of payment, names of organizations, etc. must be correctly recognized and securely entered in order to avoid various costly mistakes like overpayments, payments to wrong recipients, incorrect amounts and others.
Ease of Implementation
Apart from special process-oriented features ideal accounts payable software should ultimately be ready for implementation and use. This means such software should possess configuring options rather than customization ones in order to be seamlessly adapted.
Ideal accounts payable automation software should be fast and easily deployed. Cloud-based solutions or those offering web interface are characterized by fastest deployment options. This feature may be considered the most optimal for small businesses employing no IT staff.
The ability to be integrated with other systems that are essential for the invoice management process is an important feature of accounts payable software. When integrated with other necessary systems special software processes invoices, expense reports and other related documents faster. The integration ensures easier and quicker exchange of required data between accounts payable software and other systems, which eliminates the need to search such data in one system and log it manually into another one. The integrability facilitates necessary data transfer between the systems thus simplifying and accelerating the overall invoice management process.
The ability to build several solutions on the basis of one platform is a great advantage. Platform software makes it possible to easily develop and seamlessly integrate different solutions. When based on one enterprise content management platform, various business processes are easily synchronized and flexibly configured. Besides, ECM platform provides high scalability and beneficial business tasks performance.
Ideal accounts payable software should be characterized by high learnability that is the feature of being easy to learn how to use it. A simple, intuitive interface can help new users start working with it faster, reducing delays in the working process and minimizing the need to hire expensive training specialists. Software aimed at simplifying and streamlining business processes should not complicate working with it.
To provide a quick, simple and independent learning on how to use it, software must be furnished with necessary documentation containing detailed description and explanation of its functions. Besides, to provide the fastest learnability software may comprise video tutorials. Such software can be guided by users’ actions, predicting them and launching video hints that help users start working independently with it faster.
We have described 4 main components of ideal accounts payable software, combination of which is the way to seamless and efficient invoice management. Rich functionality, ease of implementation, high integrability and learnability are the core elements that will inevitably lead you to success.