You may have heard about Accounts Payable automation, but if you still have FAQs about AP automation, you’ve come to the right place. We’re all about transforming AP departments into automated powerhouses that lead with electronic payments, so we likely have the answers to your most burning questions.
Below are the most common FAQs about AP Automation. If you have a question that is not answered here, please reach out to us and we’ll make sure to find the answer for you.
- What is AP automation?
Accounts Payable (AP) automation eliminates the manual, outdated processes of the AP department such as printing, stuffing, and mailing paper checks as well as manually reconciling paper bank statements every month. AP Automation enables vendors to get paid more quickly, makes reconciliation effortless, and protects against payments fraud. By automating AP, companies are able to save money and redirect resources to more profitable tasks.
- I run a small business, is AP automation an option for us?
AP automation is a viable and beneficial solutions for any size business. Thanks to the latest in AP automation technology there is no lengthy implementation process or investment required.
- How much time is required for implementation?
The transition to an automated AP system is quick and easy. CSI handles all of the setup and vendor enrollment for you. Generally, a rollout can occur within a few weeks depending on system complexities and program customization needs. You should expect to attend a kick-off call intended to educate you on how the system is designed and its various functions. After that, you will have a designated relationship manager available to assist you with any further questions you may have.
- Will we have to hire additional staff?
No. Many organizations hesitate to move to an automated AP platform because they believe more staff and company resources are needed to support the transition. In actuality, it is quite the opposite. AP automation simplifies your business operations, allowing it run more efficiently and reduces the time employees spend on manual data processes. Many companies find that after moving to an automated AP platform, their teams are able to spend more time on analytical and strategic initiatives.
- What happens to our existing accounting system (ERP)?
AP automation software will seamlessly integrate with your existing ERP. Once integrated, the automated AP platform will receive information from the ERP such as active vendors, purchase orders, and invoices.
- Will I lose some control over payments with AP automation?
No. In fact, you will gain more control over your payments with AP automation. With an automated AP system, you will have full visibility of payment activity, 24/7. In addition, workflow and approval processes are enhanced and can be executed from anywhere, you have assurance payments are received (no lost checks), and you have better control over cash flow and timing of vendor payments that allow you to maximize early payment discounts wherever possible.
- What is a virtual credit card?
A virtual credit card is a 16-digit, single-use card number that is issued for a specific transaction or amount, with no physical card attached to it. Predefined restrictions can be set up on the card including where the card can be used, how much can be spent, and the usage period. After approved use, the card number becomes invalid.
- How does eliminating paper checks save my company money?
Paper checks result in a significant expense for AP, costing approximately $5-10 per invoice. There are high processing fees associated with checks and they require significant manual processing by employees. When a company eliminates paper checks, those bank processing fees go away, along with the costs of paper, printing, postage, and mailing, and chasing after checks that get lost in the mail and result in additional fees.
- What makes AP Automation more secure?
Accounts payable automation and virtual credit cards are the most current and secure solutions to the widespread problem of B2B payments fraud. AP automation eliminates the need for manual and paper processes that expose your data to potential scammers. Software is monitored and managed by experienced solutions providers and have built-in fraud detection that searches for red flags and signals suspicious activity. Virtual cards can only be used for approved vendors and amounts, and the number becomes void once that payment has been made, making them essentially fraud-proof to outside hackers.
- Will my vendors accept virtual credit cards for payment?
Vendor acceptance should not be of concern. CSI has many existing relationships with vendors and will contact and enroll them on your behalf. We also have the highest vendor enrollment success rate in the industry because of our knowledge and approach. Our relationship managers work hard to educate and enroll vendors beginning with an extensive vendor matching process. Most vendors agree that receiving quick and automated payments that increase their available cash flow is a win-win.
- What if some of my vendors don’t want to accept virtual credit cards?
No problem. Our AP automation capabilities extend to all payment types including ACH, proprietary network, paper checks, and foreign exchange. You can still enjoy the benefits of AP automation and let us handle the logistics of other payments types in order to keep all payment data secured on one platform while eliminating manual processing on your end.
There are many benefits to AP automation including the elimination of manual processes, paying vendors faster, increasing security, and maximizing the efficiency of your company’s time. There is also the opportunity to create additional revenue by collecting monthly cash rebates on virtual card spend volume. With no additional investment needed on your part, plus a quick and easy integration, the decision to automate is really a no-brainer.
Still have questions? We’re here to help! Contact us today.