A Guide to Streamlining Accounts Payable: Best Practices for a Smooth Procure-to-Pay Process

By Srikanth
7 Min Read
A Guide to Streamlining Accounts Payable: Best Practices for a Smooth Procure-to-Pay Process 1

Over time, the needs and requirements for expansion have increased for businesses and as they grow, their procurement processes get more complex and challenging, which leads to laborious and time-consuming processes. In the same way that simplifying such procedures is essential, upholding compliance with rules and guaranteeing efficient operations is also critical.

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This is where procure-to-pay enters the picture as it weaves a pathway for organizations to document their operations, starting from the point of need to the final payment. Its primary goal is to guarantee smooth integration of purchasing, supply chain management, and accounts payable operations, as well as to locate any bottlenecks in the process and provide guidance for traversing it effectively.

Especially when it comes to managing accounts payable, it can become a very challenging task for a business owner considering the restrictive nature of manual account management techniques. As a result, there would lead to delays in processing, improper data entry, and missing bills. However, with the advent of accounts payable automation solution, businesses can now easily streamline their processes, save time, reduce errors and boost cash flow.

Effective methods for optimizing accounts payable

Automate invoice processing: There is no denying the fact that manual data-entry is a time-consuming process prone to errors and inefficiencies. Automating invoice processing would minimize the need for manual data entry, improving the efficiency of the accounts payable process. Additionally, it would make it simpler for companies to keep track of invoices, payments, and unpaid amounts.

Automate electronic payment methods: With digitalization at the core of change in society, electronic payments have become a reality. Traditional payment methods, which include writing and cutting paper cheques, is not only time-consuming and expensive but prone to certain risks as well.

On the other hand, using electronic payment methods eliminates the need for physical cheque writing and mailing while also saving time, and money, eliminating the possibility of late payments, and reducing other security risks. A survey by PWC and the Payments Council of India (PCI) predicts that by 2023, India will account for roughly 2.2% of the global market for digital payments. This data hints at the fact that electronic payments will increasingly replace other payment methods for organizations, improving the accounts payable process entirely.

Improve communication and collaboration: The cornerstone of any successful business deal is communication. Improving vendor relationships and cooperation is therefore critical to ensuring a smooth accounts payable process. In this context, creating a single portal where both parties can communicate is essential. As a result, business data, such as invoices, tax records, and payment information, will be organized in one location, making it simple for business owners to view, modify, and communicate with vendors as necessary. 

Streamlining accounts payable: Key to smooth business operations

A fully automated accounts payable solution aids in reducing the need for tiresome human work, resulting in a quicker and easier payment process. In fact, automation reduces the likelihood of mistakes, double payments, or missed deadlines, giving business owners more visibility into their accounts payable balances and payment schedules and enabling them to make well-informed decisions in regard to their spending and investment. Additionally, it aids in lowering the risk of fraud and ensuring that regulatory standards are well met.

Best practices for a smooth procure-to-pay process

Strengthen supplier relationships: In the end, carrying out effective commercial transactions requires keeping a good relationship with suppliers. Procure-to-pay automation can enhance your relationship with the provider in a number of ways by giving you a centralized platform for communication where you can express your needs to the supplier and receive a solution in return. As a result, organizations will be able to target an easy procure-to-pay process while also benefiting from better supplier relations.

Increase visibility and transparency: Traditional methods lacked the ability to provide businesses with the opportunity to gain better transparency into their cash flows. However, with automated procure-to-pay solutions, organizations can maintain constant control and visibility throughout the entire payment cycle. As a result, it will make it easier for business owners to manage and record all transactions, which will streamline the procure-to-pay process.

Seek uniformity: A critical first step for each company function is to have a precise set of norms and guidelines that are both standardized and documented. Process documentation helps to better simplify the procure-to-pay process by eliminating any ambiguity and variations during implementation.

Smooth procure-to-pay process: path to simplified payments

The procure-to-pay function encompasses a company’s complete purchasing structure. It starts with locating and buying the necessary good or service and finishes with processing the payment for that transaction. Consequently, it is essential for organizations to maintain a smooth procure-to-pay process in order to foster growth and enhance client relationships.

An efficient procure-to-pay process will allow businesses to move more swiftly and react instantly to supply chain disruptions, thereby saving time, releasing resources, and facilitating the approval of new suppliers. Additionally, it will enable organizations to improve visibility across the entirety of their payment cycle and eliminate any human-centric risks or errors.

Get an edge above the rest!

According to a study by Future Market Insights, the global market for pay-to-procure solutions is expected to grow substantially at a CAGR of 7.0%, reaching a value of $ 13,430.4 million by 2023, covering Asia-Pacific regions. This data demonstrates the fact that pay-to-procure solutions are going to become commonplace for businesses. Given the hassle-free nature of the process, it will assist you in escaping from these cumbersome systems by ensuring seamless integration of the accounts payable, supply chain management, and purchasing functions, transforming your procurement process into the adaptable system needed to keep your business competitive and relevant in today’s fast-moving industry.

Contributed by Arun Krishnamoorthy, CMO, Techpanion

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