Nothing can hold up AP workflow like tracking down approvals on invoices, purchase orders and expense reports. The AP department can waste a lot of time waiting for the approver to be in the office — or for the invoice in question to surface from the bottom of a stack of papers in an overflowing inbox. Likewise, no exec wants to feel tied to their desk, waiting to approve invoices.
But what if approvals could happen anywhere, from any device? An automated approvals process makes the workflow easy and convenient for everyone involved by removing the cumbersome paper part of the equation. That means there’s no need for printing, copying or physically signing the paperwork.
Consider this: AP departments that automate their approvals process work 74% faster than those who still rely on manual processing. Automating approvals can help financial institutions operate more efficiently, minimize errors, avoid payment delays, improve vendor relationships and save money on early payment discounts.
Ready to stop chasing down approvals and dramatically simplify your workflow? Here’s everything you need to know to streamline your financial institution’s approvals with automation.
Convenient Approvals From Any Web-Enabled Device
When everything is digitized, all parties can access and approve invoices from a single online platform. That makes it simple for approvals to be made from anywhere — on any device, whether it’s a laptop, tablet or even a mobile phone. User-defined approval workflows allow you to set as many approval officers as necessary for easy routing.
Better yet, AP professionals no longer have to follow up endlessly on outstanding invoices. Email or text notifications with a link to the invoice are automatically sent to approvers, along with reminders and alerts for new and updated invoices.
Not being tied to the office to move things forward has never been so important. In the current landscape, when many branches have limited service and numerous AP professionals find themselves working from home, automating the approval process is both convenient and necessary to prevent an unmanageable backlog.
Fewer Errors, Full Visibility
Are you still walking paper invoices into various offices for approval? Another clear benefit of electronic invoices is that there’s no piece of paper to lose, misplace or file incorrectly. With everything online, it’s essentially impossible to make these types of avoidable errors.
Digital access also allows for complete visibility in the approval process. Administrators and approvers alike can see exactly where an invoice is in the approval process, and keep track of progress in real time. Automating approvals creates an easy-to-access audit trail, giving you better control and data for every payment your financial institution makes.
You can even enforce a system rule that all invoices must be approved, which increases operational compliance. Whether there’s an audit, or an exec has a question about a specific document, you’ll never have to shuffle through a file cabinet to locate an invoice, expense report or purchase order. In fact, anyone in your institution (with permissions) can locate this information from the comfort of their couch.
AP Automation Beyond Approvals
The same convenience, time-saving and productivity boosting benefits of automating your FI’s approval workflow can apply to back-office operations ranging from vendor payments to prepaids and accruals. Think how much time you could save if you didn’t have to print checks, stuff envelopes or pour over spreadsheets to locate important data.
Freeing up your time on tedious tasks also allows you to focus on more value-added efforts for your financial institution. There’s never been a better time to automate your AP, and the benefits can have a ripple effect that go well beyond saving time and money.
When choosing a software solution to automate approvals or other back-office tasks, make sure to select a partner that knows your business. It’s crucial that your software partner understands how financial institutions work, and the best solutions will have built-in compliance. The software should also be simple to use, easy to implement and compatible with your current system.
BankTEL is the only software company that focuses solely on accounting solutions for banks and credit unions, and we’re proud to serve one in four financial institutions across the nation.