While January can be somewhat of a dreary month, it's also a time that has represented beginnings ever since the ancient Romans inaugurated the raucous feast of Janus. The description of the two-headed Janus with one face gazing into the future and the other looking into the past could easily apply to a CFO during this time of year; the CFO takes stock of the company's financial performance over the past year and then develops a strategy for improving efficiency and the company's bottom line in the future. This January, you can step into the New Year and the future of your company by selecting modern Cloud accounts payable software that automates the AP document management process and delivers insight into spending, budgets and bottlenecks for both you and your accounting team.
To assist you in the selection of a Cloud accounts payable automation solution for your accounting department, we'd like to share with you the 5 following essential drivers of modern accounting.
1) Automation: Eliminate Manual Data Entry and Expedite Approvals
It's still worth mentioning that moving from a manual accounts payable process to an automated one saves your accounting team plenty of time and improves accuracy for your financial processing. One way to toss out the paper, improve data accuracy and expedite AP invoice approvals is to select a solution that allows employees and vendors to email AP invoices to a Cloud document service, such as Ariett Box4Dox. When your accounting team (or other employees) opens emailed invoices from Box4Dox, information about the date and vendor from the email automatically populates the AP transaction in Ariett. Once the invoice number and amount have been entered, the transaction and invoice attachment can be submitted into an approval workflow. Having the right approval and workflow management solution ensures that your managers stay on top of their approvals so that accounting can issue payments on time.
2) Ease of Use: Submit, Review and Approve Documents on Any Device
You and your employees expect to be able to access your personal applications on your device of choice, so why should you expect any less at work? Ease of use across devices is a hallmark of modern accounting solutions because it provides employees and managers with the flexibility to submit or approve expense reports, AP invoices, requisitions or contracts from wherever they are. Utilizing mobile first design, our software developers built Ariett Touch, our new user interface, so that customers could count on a consistent experience on any phone, tablet or laptop. User-friendly, mobile first software drives swifter submission and approval by increasing communication between accounting and the rest of the organization. In turn, this puts your accounting team in the position to capture discounts, avoid late payment penalties and reimburse employees in a timely manner.
3) Visibility: Gain Insight into Record of Collaboration
As you turn one face towards the New Year, you'll also expect to have a solution that delivers insight into spending, budgets and a complete record of collaboration. The right AP solution with procurement can ramp up communication between accounting and the rest of the organization during your vendor contract management cycle. Ariett's vendor contract management allows employees to select the appropriate vendor for the contract and enter all contract details. When approvers review the vendor contract, they can easily send comments back to the employees or make edits. Once the contract has been approved, requisitions can be assigned to a contract; subsequently, contract managers can easily keep tabs on contract spending by viewing all purchase commitments from their Ariett home screen. By routinely reporting on budget remaining for a project or year-to-date contract costs, your modern accounting team can empower you to make smart spending decisions.
4) Advanced Reporting: Prepare for Month-End Closing
To propel your accounting department into the New Year, you'll also want to have a solution with month-end reporting capabilities. Your accounting team can use these reports in a number of ways—to identify bottlenecks, track accruals and reconcile credit card charges with expense reports. For instance, using Ariett Software's reporting dashboard, a complete list of accrued invoices and expenses for a specific month can be generated. To take care of unfinished business such as unapproved invoices or unreconciled credit card charges before the end of the month, your accounting team can simply run reports to check up on these open items. If employees haven't imported credit card charges onto an expense report, accounting can just send a quick friendly reminder. Ariett's advanced reporting capabilities make all the difference in ensuring that your payment process runs smoothly and in upholding modern financial reporting standards.
5) Deep Integration: View Data across ERP and Software systems
The 5th key requirement for moving towards a modern accounting department is to have an accounts payable automation solution with deep integration to your ERP financial system. The more that your ERP and other software systems speak to each other, the more efficient and connected accounting is to the rest of the organization. Ariett uses a variety of integration methods, including JSON web service, APIs and Accounting Extract Files to import vendor and general ledger information and transfer invoice data directly into companies' accounting software. This data sharing between systems allows the modern accounting department to have a more streamlined accounts payable process.
To learn more about how you can face into the future by leveraging these 5 essential drivers of modern accounting, just download our latest research report Guide to Best Practices for Modern Accounting. Now that we're nearing the month of beginnings, what better time to get started on an accounts payable solution for 2015!