5 accounts payable challenges and how to solve them?

Apr 05, 2024

There are jobs that can eat up your time yet never get done. Accounts payable is one of them. Accountants can relate to the pain of battling with both paper and electronic files.

Sadly, most organizations don’t find the need to automate this process fully. They keep expanding their accounting team as their billable items increase. Does that put an end to accounts payable challenges? 

No. They still spend most of the day chasing bills, storing receipts, and fumbling through records. Instead, they should be seeing that the invoices are paid at the right time and in the right amounts.

They should have the supporting proof ready for the made payments, at any time of the year. Despite the challenges in accounts payable process, they should have up-to-date payment data in a presentable format. 

In the era of remote workstyle, the communication gap increases the chances for errors, missed or mistaken approvals, and unresponsive follow-ups. 

Is there a way to sort these accounts payable problems without spending too much? Yes. 

Accounts payable challenges Volopay can overcome for your business

1. Invoice processing

On average, an accountant processes 30 to 40 invoices per day. It can go up to 800 invoices per month. If this is processed manually, a least of 2 to 3 invoices could turn into incorrect invoices.

A small mistake in the bank account number or the amount will become a disaster as it’s irreversible. If your vendor sends paper invoices by mail, they can go missing as well.

They could have been forgotten till it becomes too late for processing. And what if you pay the same invoice twice over? Duplicate payments are highly likely to happen due to look-alike invoices.

With Volopay, you can forget the main accounts payable challenges you can automate all steps of invoice processing, and never let mishaps happen.

As invoices are captured electronically, there is no place for error. Whatever is in an invoice is moved to the Bill Pay system. If the invoice itself has an error, it will be found and flagged while compared with the respective purchase order.

In such cases, even fabricated, fake invoices can be detected. As paid invoices are clearly labeled, there is no way they will appear back in your system. The need for internal communication is low as the created bill has all details included in it. 

On top of that, you never lose any invoices. Just scan and add it to the system right away and let it be taken care of. Maintain a well-recorded, up-to-the-minute, and automated invoice-handling system where nothing can go wrong.

2. Approval workflows

It’s shocking that 37% of companies still have manual approval workflow. Here, the approvers are notified through conventional methods to get their approval.

It only creates unnecessary delays and anxious, last-minute follow-ups. Even if they’re notified early, approvers don’t check their emails or respond on time.

The responsibility to accomplish this falls on the accountant who relentlessly sends reminder emails. 

It’s one of the crucial challenges in accounts payable processes to get a bill to the payment stage on time. The challenge multiplies if the workflow differs for different payments.

When responsibilities mount, the approver can make mistakes too. Instead of bombarding the approver and accountant with complicated tasks, try Volopay.

With Volopay your payments can have different automated invoice workflows and even multiple approvers too. Volopay has it and lets admins upload custom workflows. Only when approved by all does it go to the next stage. 

Approvers receive push notifications on their devices whenever a new request comes in. They can also log in to Volopay and approve all payments at once.

No extra questions or follow-ups, as the approver can see everything related to the bill right there. The admin can modify the list of approvers or set no approver too.

Route your payments automatically from bill creation to payment processing. No one has to carry files across cabins or amass bills and papers in approvers’ desks.

3. Manual data entry errors

Human errors are inevitable, especially when they constantly deal with numbers. Such errors are irreversible whether you find them or not.

They can also cause regulatory fines on account of irregularities in records. A laboratory test has proven that manual work can lead to up to 4% of erroneous data. 

Why do these errors matter? They cause reputational damage. People who do business with you or audit you won’t recommend you in their networks.

It takes enormous time and effort for damage control and rectification. Only automation and digitization can put an end to this and create an automated flow of data.

Never waste your money and time on careless errors anymore. Volopay leaves zero space for manual data entries. Whether it’s uploading invoices or transferring accounting data, automated data transfer makes sure there are zero errors.

Auto-extraction of invoice data while bill creation lessens the odds of errors. It takes place within seconds freeing employees from hard labor.

They won’t feel fatigued searching and inputting data into the system. And no invoice payments get delayed due to incorrect payment entries.

Volopay also comes with integration features. As it has an open API, you can connect to other accounting applications and sync data instantaneously.

Automatic filling of accounting fields and auto-classification of expenses further reduces the possibility of manual workload.

In the future, the number of invoices your company receives may rapidly increase or hit a low. But the accuracy and efficiency of accounting processes will remain the same.

4. Money transfers

Money transfers are the base of accounts payable. They deal with utilizing working capital to make various kinds of business payments.

It’s one of many accounts payable challenges to find a safe, fast, and affordable payment method. Hence, they stick to basic and traditional payment methods like ACH, checks, etc. 

This is fine if you deal with a very limited number of transactions. But in reality, even a small business handles vendor payments, payroll, international payments, application charges, and others.

Bank-to-bank transfers might not work the same way for all these and other unsaid categories. These methods are unreliable and often take a few business days to get processed. 

Enter Volopay! Volopay has Bill Pay to make vendor payments and other account-to-account transactions. You can make international payments, too, at a reasonable fx cost.

Want to make a capital transfer? Volopay can help you achieve that at best remittance charges. Set up your payroll with Volopay by creating recurring payments for your employees that go out every month.

For those vendors who accept card payments, you can pay them with virtual cards available within the suite.

Volopay is here to simplify bank-to-bank remittance transfers for businesses. It’s a lot better than online banking as it has multiple advanced features and functionality. You can find payment status within seconds without leaving the application.

Using multiple modes of payment has another challenge of tracking. With Volopay, you can track all your business expenses in one place.

5. Timely payments

Almost every payment that accounts payable process is time-bound. Not paying bills on time affects your brand name and messes with the relationships you share with vendors.

However, the accounting team cannot solely take the blame for this one. It’s the company’s responsibility to ensure that the payment workflow is smooth.

If you technically equip them and create explicit payment policies, the team can give their best in pushing bills on time. 

As technical infrastructure is absent in AP, it takes forever for accountants to get approval and send payments on time.

The worst part is they miss out or lose 1 to 2 invoices out of 10 invoices they process. It’s because they don’t have reminders in semi-manual or manual invoice processing.

When late payments vex vendors and cause business discontinuity, teams get together to discuss accounts payable problems and solutions. But they don’t address the elephant in the room.

Fix these accounts payable challenges by getting them the best, automated accounting solution. Volopay will ensure that the invoice is cleared out of the system within two to three business days.

You can schedule the payments ahead and put them in the queue till they are due. Setting reminders and push notifications doesn’t let an invoice stay stagnated for too long. 

Nothing makes a supplier delighted more than early payments. Some vendors even offer goodwill discounts to encourage this practice. Scheduling payments early gives you time to work on issues with payment failures. 

Maintain long-lasting relationships by making early payments through Volopay.

In short, Volopay can fix most of your accounts payable challenges and free up accountants to do other tasks.

You retain accuracy and maintain compliance at low costs and resources. Reduce time spent on chaotic books and bills and improve employee productivity. 

You might have a payment solution already in place. Or you might be using traditional practices to make and record payments.

Wherever you stand, you can set up Volopay and kickstart automated accounting in a few days. Curious to see how Volopay works? Join in for a demo with us. 

Overcome the challenges in accounts payable with Volopay!