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How Accounts Payable Automation Can Protect Your Business

How Accounts Payable Automation Can Protect Your Business

When identifying ways to protect your business, accounts payable processing is often overlooked. However, with the high number of manual, labour-intensive tasks associated with invoice processing, and the transmission and storage of highly confidential data, AP automation and outsourcing is an area that can yield many benefits to protect your business' future growth. 

AP Automation can protect your business through the realization of a number of improvements to your current processes including:

  1. A Reduction in Manual Entry Errors

  2. Duplicate Detection

  3. Taking Advantage of Early Payment Discounts

  4. Protection Against Cyber Attacks

diamond-color Reduction in Manual Entry Errors

Manual data entry errors are one of the biggest issues faced by AP departments that rely on paper documents for their AP processes. As employees enter data from paper invoices into the computer, the likelihood of manual errors increases dramatically. Unfortunately, even small errors can end up costing businesses materially in the form of service issues with customers and vendors, missed discounts and overdue payment fees. Octacom’s AP automation solution will reduce manual work and minimize human error by streamlining the capture, coding, approval, analysis and archival of invoices:

- Automated invoice data capture and validation eliminates manual data entry, purchase order matching and GL/dimension coding, with 99.9% accuracy.

- Digitized approval workflows with simple dashboards, notifications and insights.

- Improved reporting and analytics with full visibility into the accounts payable process, invoice cycle times and spend by vendor and approver.

Duplicate Detection

Duplicate invoice payment is another significant AP issue that many organizations experience. A recent survey on showed that on average, organizations reported that “nearly a full percentage point (0.8%) of their annual disbursements were duplicate.” There can be multiple causes of duplicate invoice payments, including supplier duplicates, data entry error and multiple source documents. Although organizations are aware of the problem, trying to fix it using manual processing risks further human error and can also be expensive and time-consuming. Automating your AP processes with Octacom enables duplicate detection by:

- Automating exception handling and vendor returns, including duplicate invoices, among others.

- Centralizing receipt of invoices through a variety of options including e-mail forwarding, custom vendor portal, EDI and digital mail room services.

- Seamlessly integrating systems to allow for duplicate detection across internal platforms.


Taking Advantage of Early Payment Discounts

Depending on an organization’s policies and cost of capital, it makes sense to take advantage of the early payment discounts offered by vendors. Not only does paying your invoices early reduce the total amount owned, it also makes it easier to reconcile accounts and encourages a healthy relationship with your vendors. Although there are many benefits to paying your invoices early, most organizations are unable to do so because of slow, manual invoice processes, invoice approvals that take too long and the decentralized receipt of invoices which limits AP visibility. Octacom’s AP automation solution significantly decreases invoice processing times, allowing for early payments:

- All data capture and validation is provided as part of a daily processing service, providing you with complete and correct invoice data needed to capture early payment discounts and eliminate late payment fees with short turnaround times.

- User and workflow activity is continuously monitored with a complete audit trail of all actions taken, allowing you to anticipate any issues that put early payment discounts at risk.


Protection Against Cyber Attacks

More than half of Canadian businesses have experienced invoice fraud due to a cyber crime incident ( Invoice fraud typically involves criminals trying to trick organizations into sending or redirecting a payment to a fraudulent account. Cyber security breaches also pose a significant threat to AP departments, given that they handle highly sensitive customer data. With fully remote or hybrid work environments being the new norm in today’s business world, securing your AP against cyber attacks has become increasingly important. AP automation is considered an essential tool in combating cyber attacks. As a SOC II Type II organization, Octacom’s strict information security policies and procedures will work alongside our AP automation solution to protect your systems and sensitive customer data:

- Visibility into AP operations to allow those with approved authority to get instant access to the latest data, reducing chances of fraud.

- Ongoing notifications and updates to alert employees of potential breaches.

- A secure, searchable archive with the ability to enable granular user permissions to satisfy compliance requirements.

- Confidence that all data is redundant and hosted on secure servers located in Canada. 

Octacom is a SOC 2, Type II Audited enterprise software and services company focused on document and data automation solutions, including automated data capture. Founded in 1976, Octacom specializes in accounts payable automation and automated invoice processing, among other digital / automated business process outsourcing services. 

If your organization is looking to learn more about our solutions and services, please contact us and we would be glad to help.


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