Tuesday, July 23

Steps involved in automating Quickbooks AP

Steps involved in automating Quickbooks AP

In some business circles, automation is a dirty word that is never to be uttered. While it is true that automation leads to the re-directing of resources, automation also leads to efficiency. Efficiency, thereafter, can lead to promising profits. The processes of the accounts payable department should be automated for several reasons. One way to automate them is to utilize software like Quickbooks.

Here are the steps involved in using Quickbooks to automate accounts payable processes.

Invoice Arrival and Categorization

In Quickbooks, users can setup routines to automate processes. This software is known as an enterprise resource planning platform for companies that are mid- to large-size. It is designed to help users execute their tasks in a productive manner. The accounts payable department consists of a lot of challenges.

Ensuring that all invoices are received as soon as they arrive is one. Since this is the department from where all payments exit, internal controls are instituted. In order for payments to be approved and sent out on-time, the process has to hit the ground running.

Internal controls purposefully make the payment procedure time consuming because executives have to avoid double, unapproved and fraudulent payouts. When automating the receipt of invoices step, start with the largest volume and most frequent suppliers. Then, categorize them. As soon as the accounts payable staff understands how and when each supplier usually sends their invoices, the staff knows when to expect them. This information is inputted into the software.

Routing and Approval

Once a better understanding of the receipt of invoices is gained, and they are categorized, it is time to automate the routing and approval of these invoices. If Department A always orders from Supplier A, then when invoices from Supplier A arrive, a routine can be developed that routes those invoices to the decision-marker of Department A.

The approval process is probably the one that takes the longest. This is usually because the supplies have to be received and inspected, first. When there is a good relationship between a supplier and a client, the client can be confident shipments will not arrive with any damaged goods or shortages.

A better habit to develop, though, is to wait and inspect, especially since it is usually employees who are managing the receipt of goods and supplies. Everyone has to be held accountable for the quality, efficiency and success of a company up and down the ladder.

Data Capture and Validation

A company has to have the best team of employees assembled. When the best people are hired, it reduces the number of errors that may be committed. Data-entry in the accounts payable department has to be perfect. A wrong digit on an invoice, purchase order or amount causes several hours of additional reconciling simply to find what could feel like a needle in a haystack. With quickbooks ap automation, a large percentage of human errors are reduced because the software is automated to spot mistakes.

If a letter is entered instead of a digit, for example, the software catches the error. If an invoice number is supposed to be six-digits long and only five are entered, the software catches it. Data capture and its subsequent validation is important in the same way as checks and balances.

Invoice Matching and Verification

Every company uses an accounts payable method that works best for them, their circumstances and size. When an invoice is received, it must be verified and matched against a purchase order as well as approved. One way to speed up the approval process is to make folders that include all the corresponding paperwork to a bill. Then, that folder is given to the decision-maker for approval. When software is used, relevant information is entered and grouped together. Since this is a centralized system, anyone who is given access can pull up the necessary information. When an invoice is matched to its corresponding paperwork, it can be verified or denied easily in a platform like Quickbooks.

General Ledger Coding

The general ledger is where all the accounting records are maintained. All the sub-category general ledger entries are compiled in the master. For some companies, the general ledger is massive. In Quickbooks, not only can the compiling process be automated, but so can the printing of reports and statistics. Spreadsheets were used for a long time by companies of all sizes. They worked well, too. The issue became that the entries became cumbersome. The size of the files also became overwhelming. There were also pages on top of pages. In many ways, accounting software was born out of spreadsheets. Now, the central repository for a company can be found in one centralized program that is easily automated.

The accounts payable staff no longer has to suffer in silence as they complete their work. Software helps through automation.

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