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Gain Transparency through Automation and Digitization

by Tom DellAringa

December 19, 2022

In today’s market, transparency is very highly valued. In an accounts payable department, efficiency is of utmost importance, but so is transparency. It ensures that everyone who needs to know about the data gets to know about it.

While that is a simple explanation, this article will go into depth regarding data transparency, how AP automation can affect data transparency, and how it is advantageous for your company.

Data Transparency

What is data transparency?

Transparency in AP workflow means efficiently tracking and managing your invoices. This means that wherever in the process the invoice is, you can tell how far it has gone, whether or not it has been paid, and how long until the process is completed. This is necessary to avoid any kind of fraud in your company. In addition, data transparency can save you from huge losses.

Data transparency also means that anyone allowed access to the invoices can look at them, even remotely. Suppose you are on vacation and something comes up regarding the invoices that have not been paid in your company. In such a case, if others cannot access it, there can be a lot of trouble. Data transparency is required if you need to give rightful access to others.

How do you achieve it?

There are many ways of achieving transparency. The first is the automation of your AP workflow. While that is the topic of discussion in this article, there are other ways in which you can do so. If you are working in a company with a pre-established AP workflow and cannot automate it easily, you can make the process transparent by taking care of the invoices sent from your side.

Payments can be made through methods that can be easily tracked, like online payments or net banking, so that you know when the transaction has taken place and the status of the transaction. This can be very impactful on your pocket, as it prevents any sort of fraud or bad transactions. This also increases the transparency of the invoices, which is what you want.

Automation of AP processes

Accounts payable processes require automation in this day and age. AP automation includes a lot of things like making digital invoices, making online payments, and storing all the data of the vendors digitally. Automating all the processes is highly beneficial for your company; it makes sure that you don’t lose your data, you have a transparent network, your invoices aren’t duplicated, and you don’t experience losses in your business.

If you automate the process, the chances of fraud are exponentially reduced. If you always know where the invoice is (usually within the software) and you know when the invoice is paid, you will know if there is something off during the payment. This reduces fraud chances and speeds up payments, increasing the trust with your supplier.

Automating the process also makes the entire process a lot easier and more efficient. Accounts payable processes are the heart and soul of a business and making sure they are done properly will result in financial benefit. 

Advantages of transparency

There are various advantages to transparency in your AP workflow. These include:

  • The first advantage to data transparency is that it brings all your data to one place. This way, you don’t have to search for getting appropriate data; you can just enter a query or search the sorted file to get the necessary information.
  • Another advantage is that it makes sure that your work is efficient. Efficiency and transparency are interrelated; if your processes are efficient, your data is bound to be transparent. This is because you can check the process at any time; you’ll get consistent results and hence, transparent data.
  • It integrates all your processes to work in a flow. The more transparent your data is, the more probable you are to have minimal errors in your workflow. All your processes will gel together to form a good workflow.

Conclusion

In conclusion, making your workflow more transparent is something every company should aim to achieve. It makes sure that your work is done in a timely and efficient manner. There are various advantages to making your processes transparent, increasing the efficiency of your workflow, and increasing the trust with your supplier. There can be some trouble in automating your AP workflow, but it is worth every bit of effort you put into it. Hopefully, this article highlighted the importance of transparency and inspired you to strive toward it.