AP automation can be key to fighting fraud

AP automation can be key to fighting fraud
There are many benefits of automating your organization’s accounts payable, including streamlining your business process, increasing compliance and freeing up employees to focus on core competencies. But one major benefit of AP automation is rarely mentioned: preventing fraud.

Modern AP automation solutions can help an organization avoid late payment penalties, capture early payment discounts and minimize the cost of invoice processing. But many organizations ignore the threat of internal fraud, despite the fact that a lack of internal controls makes up 29.3 percent of fraud cases, and the median amount of time to detect such fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, is 24 months.

 

Here are a few ways an experienced, reliable AP automation provider can help your organization prevent such fraud, saving money and resources:

  1. Audit trails: One of the benefits of having information converted to a digital format via a data capture process is that information becomes available for analysis. What were once piles of paper are now a detailed time- and date-stamped views of invoices or vendor records. If suspicion of fraud arises, the information is easy accessible for any necessary investigation.
  2. Access control: By capturing data and storing it electronically, organizations can do more than just limit access to that data to certain employees. They can assign specific roles to various team members, then ensure that specific functions are restricted to the employees they choose, preventing anyone not authorized from having the access to perform certain tasks. This allows an organization to systematically divide tasks to ensure compliance and accuracy throughout the payables cycle, going so far as to set up an internal system of checks and balances.
  3. Business rules and workflow: AP automation offers a variety of systems and workflows, each incorporating the necessary business rules. These include multi-step approvals, individual approval thresholds, exception handling, automatic invoice routing and digital purchase order matching. These options remove discrepancies on noncompliance with internal routing and processing policies, and can be modified as needed by – and only by – assigned administrators.
 

Fraud is an issue at virtually every organization that deals with accounts payable, and ignoring it or relying on outdated technologies to prevent it can have grave – and very expensive consequences. But by automating its accounts payables process through a reliable, experienced provider, a company can take steps to eliminate fraud, increasing security and profits while eliminating financial waste.

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