Accounts Payable Automation Features for Your Accounting System

Michael Pignatelli
Sep 21, 2022

Ecommerce business owners have to be quick-witted to compete. So it's no surprise that you feel compelled to optimize your business operations. One area where you may achieve both of these goals is by automating your accounts payable process. This saves time and costs, while improving accuracy, increasing efficiency, and reducing fraud risk.

In this blog post, we'll discuss AP automation features and share the benefits for your ecommerce accounting systems. Are you ready to take your online business to the next level? Keep reading to find out!

#1. ERP Integration

  • Sage X3 ERP
  • Bright Pearl
  • DDI System
  • Magento
  • Oracle

Have you ever used at least one automation solution above? These are the popular enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for managing finances and resources within ecommerce businesses.

There are many reasons to want your accounts payable automation software to build on your existing ERP systems. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that it reduces the amount of duplicate data entry required. When information is entered into both systems separately, it can create errors. 

However, suppose the AP automation software is integrated with the ERP system. In that case, the data will only need to be entered once. Additionally, this integration can help ensure that relevant information is always accessible.

For example, say a customer's account information is stored in the ERP system. In that case, the AP automation software can automatically populate invoices. This can save a significant amount of time and effort and help avoid potential mistakes. 

Ultimately, integration between AP automation software and ERP systems can provide many benefits and help to streamline operations.

#2. Purchase Order and Non-Purchase Order Matching

Your businesses use two main types of invoices daily—purchase order (PO) invoices and non-purchase order (NPO) invoices. Both types of invoices serve the same basic purpose - to request payment for goods or services that have been provided.

But PO invoices are typically used when goods have been purchased from your supplier and include information about the purchase order itself. NPO invoices, on the other hand, are essentially expense invoices in the form of contracted purchases. Thus, they don't have any invoices attached.

Whether it be PO or NPO invoice processing, the three transaction details should match the product description, quantity, price, and other relevant information of your invoice.

  • Purchase order/ Non-purchase order
  • Packing slip/receipt
  • PO invoice

Imagine manually entering every financial data of your invoice-related documents to match and verify every transaction for bookkeeping. You'll be stuck with long hours of menial tasks and be vulnerable to payment errors. But with an automated matching feature, it will eliminate manual tasks and remove missed or lost invoices since everything is electronically recorded.

#3. Automated AP Approval Workflows

How does the AP approval process work?

  1. The purchase order is made.
  2. Goods and invoices are received.
  3. Invoices are recorded in the accounting software.
  4. Three-way matching and verification of your PO, invoice, and receipt.
  5. Invoice issues (if any) are resolved.
  6. The invoice is ready for payment processing.
  7. Payment is made.
  8. The financial transaction is reviewed to be stored for audit trails.

The automated approval workflow feature makes the accounts payable process faster, reducing chaos and resolving workflow bottlenecks, especially when these invoices are handed out to the Accounts Payable department. As a result, pending payments will be approved quickly, and you might be eligible for early payment discounts.

#4. Optical Character Recognition

GL coding is an essential but often time-consuming process for businesses. You can identify each invoice detail, including but not limited to the purchase price, delivery charges, and taxes. While the process can be tedious, it is important to ensure that all invoices are accurately coded to avoid potential problems. 

But what if you can optimize this coding? Thus, optical character recognition, or OCR, is a valuable feature of AP automation.

How does AP OCR work in that it scans your paper invoices, translates every character printed, and uploads your invoices on your AP automation software? OCR can help you maintain a high level of organization by classifying the right GL coding to each necessary data point on your invoices. 

This way, your accounts payable processes can save you valuable time and energy for document management, invoice management, and audit trails, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Let Unloop Help You with Accounts Payable Invoice Automation

Despite having the best AP automation software, improving your ERP or accounting system is not enough. The secret to the successful integration of AP automation solutions is choosing the most trusted and experienced accountants in ecommerce business processes—Unloop.

Goodbye Invoice Data Entry

You are more prone to making erroneous payments when you manually input and process invoices. Unloop, together with the accounts payable software, will identify duplicate invoices and enhance your document management system.

Throw Away Paper Invoices

Are you still wading in a pile of paper receipts and contracts even though you're running an ecommerce business? Believe it or not, paper invoices still account for most business transactions. This causes online businesses to invest in offices to store their AP paperwork. 

But you can finally dispose of your paper transactions completely because Unloop can handle your paper and electronic invoicing from now on.

Real-Time Reporting

Thanks to Unloop's know-how in any cloud-based AP automation solution, you won’t have trouble checking your bills payment reconciliation, receipts, and vendor contracts. We'll even help you negotiate discounts with suppliers and automate payments, so you never have to worry about missing a due date again.

Fast Payment Process

ACH payments are still the norm for many businesses. However, this type of payment can take a few days to process. But many accounts payable automation solutions now offer virtual smart cards. Asides from faster payment processing, it also:

  • Reduces payment processing costs
  • Earns cash rebates
  • Improves security
  • Provides internal controls
  • Helps manage cash flow

If you are not familiar with this new process, Unloop can help you streamline your AP payments. We will ensure your payments are right on time.

No More Invoice Fraud

Many businesses suffer from this delinquent act in accounting, which occurs when a dishonest person manipulates an invoice to gain financial benefits. Unfortunately, this type of fraud can be difficult to detect, as it often involves small amounts of money slowly funneled out of your business over time.

But Unloop has a reliable invoice approval system that only permits you to approve payments for financial transactions. We don't handle your money. We only manage your AP workflow for you.

Final Thoughts

Automating your accounts payable process can improve your cash flow and AP management. And Unloop can unlock the true potential of your AP automation features, thus upgrading your ecommerce accounting system. If you're ready to take the next step in accounts payable automation, contact Unloop today for a free consultation.

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About unloop

Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting.. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.

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