Unmatched simplicity and visibility across the entire accounts payable workflow.
Accounts Payable (AP) Automation offers finance teams the opportunity to transform their operations for the better, but picking the right solution for you and your team can be a challenge. The reason for this? AP Automation is a term that still isn’t very well-defined.
While one company using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to automatically capture invoice data into their accounting system can claim they automate, another company utilizing workflow management software to track approvals can just as easily make the same claim. Individual steps within the accounts payable process sometimes disguise themselves as standalone processes, but actually function as one step, out of many, within a broader accounts payable workflow.
MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay differentiates itself from the pack by providing one cohesive solution that automates the end-to-end AP process, from the time an invoice is received through the secure and successful payment of that invoice. Three particular areas where MineralTree is head-and-shoulders above the competition are outlined below.
Efficient Invoice Capture and Coding
Manually entering invoice data into a system of record is a process fraught with errors. OCR, a common feature in AP Automation solutions, can absorb some of this manual burden – but it isn’t foolproof. Among standalone OCR vendors, the regularly-cited rate of accuracy is 90% (at the absolute best). When it comes to invoice accuracy, this means that 10% of all data is being captured inaccurately, resulting in extra time spent by AP managers hunting down and reconciling those errors.
MineralTree combines the power of OCR technology with an additional layer of human review. By leveraging OCR to capture invoice data, and then adding human oversight, MineralTree is able to guarantee 99.5% accuracy on every invoice.
Another issue plaguing AP teams is paying the same invoice twice. This can easily become a common occurrence as invoices are routinely sent to multiple locations and processed separately. When duplicate payments happen, AP staff will spend additional time contacting the vendor to request a credit. And that time lost is not the only cost, as the vendor relationship will start to degrade if these types of issues persist.
MineralTree’s invoice capture and coding process includes duplicate invoice detection, which flags any duplicate invoices and halts them in the process. AP Managers are immediately notified and can remove the duplicate invoices on the spot before they advance any further downstream and unnecessarily drain any more resources in the AP process.
Streamlined and Centralized Invoice Processing
If you’re employing manual AP processes like most businesses, your team is likely emailing invoices to managers responsible for approval. No matter how organized you strive to be, this method inevitably entails juggling multiple email threads and managing back-and-forth communication, and includes a high propensity for invoices to get lost in the shuffle.
With MineralTree’s automatic approval routing, you can configure a series of rules using vendor name and other criteria based on invoice data to determine where invoices are routed for approval once they are captured. Additionally, invoice capture and approvals are managed by separate people, providing segregation of duties – another key driver that mitigates fraud risk.
MineralTree’s product also takes into account the invoice approval piece is only a fraction of the department manager’s responsibility, which includes managing more critical business functions. For that reason, MineralTree provides automated follow-up reminders to approvers. Instead of putting the burden on the AP manager to pester an approver via email, MineralTree’s automated follow-up system will trigger reminders to approvers at a steady cadence until they are ready for review.
Visibility into the process is another issue, and another area where MineralTree’s product shines. Let’s say a vendor gets frustrated by a late payment and calls the AP team to find out what’s causing the delay. Instead of having to dig through emails or scramble to make some phone calls, AP staff can log into MineralTree and access a centralized repository of all invoice data. It’s simple to find the status of any invoice, and provide much faster turnarounds for documentation requests during audits.
The Optimal Way to Pay
Today, businesses can utilize a variety of payment methods – paper checks, credit cards, ACH transfers, virtual cards, and wire transfers are a few. Each of these payment methods can loan themselves to different types of payment situations.
For example, a business trying to pay an invoice quickly to earn an early-pay discount may want to pay by credit card. But if the vendor doesn’t accept credit cards, the best bet would be a same-day ACH transfer. If a vendor accepts virtual cards, it would make sense for a business to pay that way and benefit from the additional security of payment tokenization. However, because each of these payment methods requires a separate process for the AP team to work through, most businesses often fall back on the payment method they know best – paper checks. Not only are paper checks the least optimal due to the lengthy process of preparing, mailing, processing and cashing them, but they are also the least secure.
MineralTree makes all of the most popular payment methods accessible to users, which provides businesses with flexibility and greater control over their finances. And MineralTree facilitates payments directly from customer bank accounts, eliminating the need for intermediary accounts and guaranteeing the highest level of transparency throughout the process. For businesses that want to stick with check payments, MineralTree offers check cutting and mailing as a service too.
MineralTree also differentiates itself by offering SilverPay, a virtual card payment technology built into its platform, as an additional B2B payment option. SilverPay is tokenized to provide a unique card number that expires every 30 days to further protect businesses from fraud.
Your Best Path to AP Automation
MineralTree Invoice-to-Pay covers all of the bases when it comes to managing accounts payable, and comes with a simple implementation process and industry-leading customer service. Automating invoice capture and coding, invoice processing, and payments generates a higher ROI by connecting each step to a centralized workflow and removing the friction points of connecting each of them. This increased level of efficiency frees up everyone involved in the process to focus on more interesting and productive tasks that can contribute to benefits across the broader company.
Are you ready to make the leap from manual to automated AP processes? Contact MineralTree today for a tailored demo of how our AP Automation can plug in and transform your business.