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Complete the 'Last Mile' of Accounts Payable Automation

August 3, 2021

Until recently, accounts payable automation has largely focused on invoice processing. But automating disbursements now sits atop the agenda of accounts payable professionals.

icon_info 71% of AP leaders plan to deploy technology this year for paying suppliers electronically, the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) reports.

icon_info 44% of AP leaders that describe their department as being “largely automated” have plans for more automation.

Not surprisingly - disbursements rank as the top AP automation agenda item.

Accounts payable leaders recognize that while invoice processing automation delivers compelling benefits, without automating their disbursements to suppliers and individuals, their organization is missing out on big-time opportunities:

  • Save time & money
  • Generate lucrative card rebates
  • Improve their supplier & customer relationships
  • Consolidate data silos
  • Mitigate risk

Embedded disbursement solutions extend the benefits of accounts payable automation:

  • Buyers review invoices or payments that are ready to be paid.
  • Make a single payment or mass payments.
  • Choose how to pay suppliers or individuals (Real-Time Payment, Automated Clearing House, virtual card, or Mastercard Send, for instance) or allow the supplier to choose, all with a few clicks.
  • Payments can be made instantly or scheduled for future payment.
  • Once a payment is completed, the buyer receives a notification and the transaction details are reconciled automatically, touch-free.

Suppliers also have the option to set themselves up on the buyer’s payment network.

The Benefits of Embedded Payment Solutions

By completing the ‘last mile’ of accounts payable automation with disbursements, buyers can:

Enhance visibility-1Enhance Visibility

Embedded payment solutions provide real-time visibility into where approved invoices and payments stand. Detailed transaction and reconciliation reports are integrated into the buyer’s ERP to provide a consolidated view of all transactions. Full-cycle tracking enables more accurate accrual reporting and greater payments control and security.

Lower costs-1Lower Costs

Embedded payment solutions eliminate the costly elements of paying suppliers. A single platform facilitates payment to all suppliers and individuals. Embedded solutions make it easy to initiate payments via the method requested by each supplier, without the buyer having to log in to multiple banking portals. Payments are reconciled in the buyer’s ERP, eliminating the need for staff to rekey data or decode cryptic banking messages.

Earn lucrative cash-back rebates-1Earn Lucrative Cash-Back Rebates

Embedded solutions enable organizations to earn cash-back rebates on supplier payments made using a virtual card. In some cases, the cash-back rebates earned by organizations have helped transform their accounts payables department a revenue center, or at least generated funds that can be invested in automation.

Mitigate payments fraud-1Mitigate Payments Fraud

Embedded payment solutions provide greater control than paper checks, mitigating the risk of payment fraud. Some embedded payment solutions provide bank-grade security with defined roles and permissions/privileges, configurable business rules, complete audit trails, hierarchical access, administrative controls for security settings, and parameters (such as the amount, supplier, location, or date) for approved payments. And paying electronically eliminates the possibility of intercepted checks.

None of these benefits are possible without completing the 'last mile' of accounts payable automation.

Learn how we are helping AP leaders take a smarter approach to disbursements.
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