Because of today's tight economy, companies are consistently trying to streamline processes and be more efficient with fewer resources. Departments across the board are being challenged to produce better results with fewer employees and accounts payable departments are no different. This department is typically responsible for handling a company's invoicing and check requests. And is usually falls under the Finance department, reporting to the Director of Finance or other supervisor who is responsible for a company's finances. Another thing, these departments often require a great deal of personnel if a company processes a lot of invoices or checks or if payables are still processed largely by hand using paper systems.

When the accounts payable department is usually responsible for writing checks and paying bills, this makes it important for this department to be running efficiently and for employees to have the resources and time allocation to properly do their job in order to maintain accuracy and avoid fraud. When this department is understaffed, overworked, or inefficient, the company can more easily become a target for fraud, either internally by employees or externally by vendors who are aware that invoices are not getting proper attention. When processes in this department are streamlined and updated, a company may be able to make significant improvements in reducing costs and saving time.

One way to improve efficiency, particularly in financial departments, is to automate systems and processes. These departments typically receive, process, and send a lot of paperwork. Incoming bills, outgoing checks with attached invoices, payroll logs, financial reports, and check requests all add up to a lot of paperwork. Paperwork necessitates manual handling and physical storage space as well. Automating systems can eliminate a lot of paperwork and create a more efficient system. There may be less of a chance for human error when your systems are all automated. Problems such as being double billed or accidentally paying a bill twice can be eliminated with automation. Not only that, it may also be able reduce false invoicing or fraud.

As we continue to try to accomplish more with fewer resources, it is important for every department to have an accurate picture of what is happening with workflow. The management will be aware which employees are handling what functions, what tasks are being duplicated, where errors are taking place, and where things are falling through the cracks with the help of process mapping. Mapping out a department's workflow and learning where processes can be improved may help management determine how automation might be implemented to improve processes and improve a team's function. Only when you reduce the paperwork and human error in the accounts payable department, then it can help a company reduce costs, reduce fraud, and improve transaction turnaround time. Thus, it improves the efficiency in this department can will eventually affect a company's bottom line positively.

Author's Bio: 

The accounts payable function is an important part of any business that receives invoices or makes payments. Streamlining here can positively affect the bottom line and improve resource management. For professional support in the financial industry, visit Institute of Financial Operations and become a part of a global networking system.