Late payments have always plagued business-to-business (B2B) commerce, but the problem is coming to a new head. Financial instabilities that many companies are facing due to the pandemic has made compensation delays even more painful to suppliers. Corporate buyers are therefore looking for ways to accelerate their vendor payments so they can help keep valuable business partners afloat.
Accounts payable (AP) tools that provide quick, detailed oversights of businesses’ financial statuses and payments obligations can help pick up the pace of payments by keeping invoice approval processes on track. These solutions also provide detailed AP data that can help buyers recognize when they can afford to pay suppliers early without risking their own budgets. Delivering compensation faster can not only ease pains for vendors but also enable buyers to earn early payment discounts.
This month’s Next-Gen AP Automation Tracker® examines how AP tools are smoothing B2B transactions and helping companies to better weather the economic downturn. It also looks at how digital AP tools are helping corporate buyers get the data they need to streamline their invoice processing and speed up payments.
Around The AP Automation World
Switching out manual AP processes for digital ones can help save companies time and money, according to Rob Eberle, CEO of invoicing and payment automation solutions provider Bottomline Technologies in a recent interview. AP automation can not only make companies more efficient but also provide them with payment tracking so they can reassure suppliers that payments are on the way.
Small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are especially likely to have legacy AP methods that force them to toggle back and forth between various software programs and manually type details into platforms to make payments and manage finances. AP automation tools designed specifically for smaller companies can ease these processes, however, says Pierre Dutaret, CEO and co-founder of European AP FinTech Libeo, in a recent PYMNTS interview.
Companies of all sizes are putting emphasis on AP automation to help them get better information so they can respond more strategically to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are clamoring for more transparency into their finances, with a recent survey finding that 88 percent of respondents intended to emphasize cash forecasting and to make forecasting projects that extend further into the future, for example.
For more on these and the rest of the latest AP automation headlines, download the Tracker.
Three-Way Invoice Matching Brews Up Better AP Processes
Tea brands need to make payments for everything from bottle caps and tea leaves to café repairs. Smoothly managing those payments and keeping all parties satisfied requires that buyers catch any and all invoicing errors which otherwise could result in the buyers being overcharged — disrupting their budgets and revenue projections — or suppliers being underpaid, thus souring those relationships. In this month’s Feature Story, Eric Forry, vice president of finance at tea seller and café operator Argo Tea explained how AP automation tools like three-way invoice matching tools can help brands detect and investigate such issues before they become problems.
Find the full story in the Tracker.
Manual AP processes give little insight into companies’ payments obligations or financial statuses. Treasury department staff cannot quickly access financial data that depends on employees sifting through paper documents, for example. This makes it harder for companies to assess whether they can safely jump on new investment opportunities or if they need to hold more money in reserve so that they will be able to pay off upcoming invoices. This month’s Deep Dive examines how AP automation tools can unlock such insights and provide data to fuel better spending decisions.
Download the Tracker to read the Deep Dive.
About The Tracker
The Next-Gen AP Automation Tracker®, a PYMNTS and Bottomline Technologies collaboration, is a monthly report that highlights the most recent accounts payable developments and automated solutions disrupting how businesses process invoices, track spending and earn rebates on transactions.