Advertising agencies and media buyers work with many digital products and services. Tracking those services to ensure what was purchased was delivered, with the correct charges, and ensuring your clients were billed correctly can be daunting. With the right accounts payable solution, what was once intimidating and costly, can now be streamlined with substantial productivity gains.
AP automation for media and advertising payables enables agencies of all sizes to reap the benefits of greater efficiencies, costs savings, reduced workload, and less errors. Integrating payments with media planning software provides media buyers with real-time visibility into what’s been spent on the client’s behalf, and what is planned. AP automation provides an efficient way to process and pay invoices to help manage cash flow and deliver on-time payments to help strengthen supplier relationships.
Leading payment solution providers have integrations with media specific platforms such as MediaOcean, Strata, Advantage, Workamajig, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, and many others. This allows agencies to implement a fully automated payments solution without interfering with the normal processes of day-to-day operations.
The media buying process has many facets from targeting the right audience and designing buying strategies to increasing conversion rates and client management. AP automation let’s agencies focus on their core business with less time focused on invoices, workflow approvals, and payments.
Benefits for Agencies:
• Reduce costs through new efficiencies
• Improve cash flow management
• Disburse payments more securely
Benefits for Vendors:
• Improve cash flow
• Shorten days sales outstanding
• Reduce reconciliation time
Increasing efficiencies in current processes and working remotely has reinforced the importance of business continuity. Optimizing your supplier’s payment mix is a good first step. Over 30 percent of media payments are still sent by check. Check payments are fraught with challenges including processing time, cost, and the increasing risk of fraud. It’s time to end paper-based payments!
When agencies review the cost and resources required for manual AP processes, identifying the processes that deliver the most value, once automated, is a good start. In an article published by McKinsey and Company, A Roadmap for Digitizing Source to Pay, they broke down the level of effort to automate each AP function. An excerpt from the article:
“Our analysis shows that, overall, 56 percent of the tasks associated with the source-to-pay process are fully or largely automatable using existing technologies. That’s a significant finding, suggesting that source-to-pay activities as a whole are more suitable for automation than is a typical US-based job.
Unsurprisingly, the automation opportunity is highest in the more transactional parts of the process: in placing and receiving orders, 88 percent of tasks can be automated, and the figure rises to 93 percent in payment processing.
Moreover, even the strategic elements of source-to-pay show considerable automation potential. Our analysis shows that 47 percent of vendor-selection and negotiation activities can be automated.” In the chart, it illustrates the potential for automation using currently demonstrated technologies by process stage, % of task within process stage.”
B2B payments volume is estimated at $120 trillion per year globally and roughly $25 trillion per year domestically. With the ease of access and cost savings of AP automation technology it’s a must have for all industries, especially media. To maintain a competitive edge and keep pace with the increasing volumes of supplier invoices and payments, automation will help AP departments expand beyond tactical execution and transform from cost centers to profit centers. It’s time for the industry to adopt automation to securely buy and sell media.