Choose an AP Automation Solution that Will Help to Optimize Your Cash Flow
Let’s be honest, it’s not just during times of crisis that you want more control over your cash. What’s not always so obvious is how to best achieve optimal cash flow. One positive step you can take is to automate your accounts payable processes.
AP Automation software is a cost-effective way to positively impact cash flow as well as providing many other features that simplify the payment process.
Every company has different needs. It’s important to find an end-to-end AP Automation solution designed to allow you to maintain full control over your payment process, including how and when each payment is made.
Many canned, out-of-the-box software vendors, and even some comprehensive AP Automation solution providers, take the payment process out of your hands. They decide when and how each vendor is paid. In fact, many solutions even go as far as removing the funds for each month’s invoices from your account en masse. These funds are transferred into a settlement account that THEY control. THEY decide when, and how, to make YOUR payment.
For some companies that’s OK. But, what about the month when the unexpected happens? Or when a pandemic hits? Life is full of surprises. That is why it’s always best when you maintain control over your cash flow.
For optimal cash flow, you’ll want to avoid vendors that use settlement accounts. Instead, choose a provider that integrates directly with your bank account. This will allow you to maintain full control over how and when each payment is made. If you want to hold the funds on a particular invoice for an extra week or two, you’ll be able to do so. If you want to pay vendor A by check, vendor B by ACH and vendor C by virtual card to earn a rebate, you can do that. Choosing an AP Automation provider that links directly with your bank account ensures that your funds remain in your account, under your control, until you release the payment.
Whenever you choose a software provider, you want to choose the software that works as close to your terms as possible. This is even more important when it comes to your payment process. It’s your business and your money. Only you should decide how to manage it.
Top 5 cash flow related questions to ask when choosing an AP Automation solution:
- Does the provider use settlement accounts?
- Does the provider integrate directly with my bank account?
- Do I maintain control over when to make each payment?
- Do I maintain control over how to make each payment?
- Does the software align with my process or must I change my process to align with the software?
In the end
Choosing your AP Automation solution wisely will help you positively optimize your cash flow during good times and bad.