6 Ways to Ward Off the Month End Monster this Halloween
It's the time of year for scary movies, tricks and treats and spooky costumes, but all the ghouls and ghosts are not as scary as the monster you face at the end of every month. The scary story we hear from most of our new customers is that their AP processes have turned their month-end closing process into a monster. If you are haunted by piles of invoices and an accounts payable process that slows down your entire accounting department, we’re going to tell you how to keep the monster at bay.
5 Signs You Have an AP Monster in Your Midst
- Sluggish and/or manual data entry
- Too many data entry errors and invoice exceptions
- Clunky Approval Process
- Lost paper invoices
- Lack of storage
Now we’re going to tell you how to turn your month end monster into your month end friend.
6 Ways to Ward Off the Month End Monster
Automation is the silver bullet you need to stop your accounts payable monster in its tracks. The good news is, it’s easier and more affordable than ever for businesses of all sizes to get started with AP automation software. But automation isn't the only thing you will need. Here are six ways, including automation, to boost your accounting efficiency and keep that monster at bay.
1. Automate Everything
Like we said, automation is the silver bullet. As automation continues to mature, competitive business landscapes are demanding deeper levels of automation. Accounting functions are at the forefront of this. With AP software that is designed for your exact accounting solution, you can reduce invoice processing times up to 80% over manual paper processing. Combine that with automatic updates to your general ledger and automation software is seriously improving your month-end efficiency.
2. Rethink Approvals
Automation workflows are a wooden stake in the heart of blood-drainingly slow invoice approvals. With the right AP workflows, invoices will route automatically to the right approver so they can sign-off quickly and easily. When your team spends less time chasing down signatures, invoices get posted sooner so you can get on with closing the books.
3. Go Cloud and Stay Agile
With some or all of your accounting functions powered in the cloud you can access your systems from anywhere and stay more agile so it’s easier to escape the clutches of being tied to a single office. We love brick and mortar offices, but sometimes getting to them isn’t possible and you still have to close out the month.
4. Go Paperless
We all still use paper in some capacity, but we all know it is a zombie--it is slow and lacks intelligence. If you invest in an affordable solution that cuts time-consuming, error-prone and difficult-to-track paper processes, your whole accounting department will run more smoothly.
5. Invoice Data Capture
Manual data entry is a quiet monster but it can drag your accounting process down. Automated data capture with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the garlic you need to keep this monster from getting its claws on your month-end closing process. When your AP solution integrates with your primary accounting software, the data is entered and checked for you, so matching invoices to purchase orders and financial data happens automatically. Learn more about OCR for AP
6. Always Improve to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Now that you have learned the secrets of slaying the month-end monster it is important to keep your tools up to date with the latest trends. Auditing your processes on a regular basis will help you identify and correct bottlenecks, money pits and risks as they arise.
We hope you enjoyed reading this because we enjoyed writing it. But we don’t want to make light of the fact that many folks who are in business accounting face a great deal of stress every month. If you are a Microsoft Dynamics GP user and your accounting process is experiencing any of the problems below, we can help reduce your stress.
- Inefficient, paper-based processing
- Invoice approval process always has you chasing down signatures
- Redundant, inefficient data entry
- Late payments are a common problem
- Still signing checks manually
- Your current process can't support new growth
- Uncertainty about payments fraud and security
- Too many exceptions and errors
- Lack of audit traceability