Pros & Cons of Accounts Payable Outsourcing vs AP Automation

bharathi d
Course Description

outsource accounts payable

Growing pains like these are a good sign but need to be sorted out quickly to prevent negative consequences for your company. In order to maintain long-term, sustainable growth, you must implement solid management and planning before things get out of hand. A bookkeeper helps with the day-to-day financial activities for your business to free up more of your time. It’s always a good idea to oversee the activities and check in with your bookkeeper through regular updates and reports. But letting a bookkeeper do the actual work is usually more efficient and lets you focus on handling your business.

Leading Accounts Payable Outsourcing Companies in 2023

Outsourcing accounts payable entails relinquishing control over the entire AP process, including the ability to oversee the AP department’s day-to-day bookkeeping. The traditional practice of ‘popping in’ to check on operations becomes obsolete. While remote work and cloud-based solutions are becoming more prevalent and accepted, the lack of control remains a significant concern for some companies. While outsourcing accounts payable offers numerous benefits, there are also valid reasons why some companies may choose to avoid this option. Transitioning the in-house AP department to a third-party provider requires careful consideration and should not be taken lightly.

Accounts Payable Outsourcing vs AP Automation: Which Fits Your Business Needs?

  1. This technology streamlines processes like invoice capture, approval workflows, and payment processing.
  2. With our simple interface, you can fully automate Accounts Payable while having easy access to data and analysis at the click of a button.
  3. By outsourcing some of the more routine AP tasks, you’ll reduce the stress levels impacting your in-house staff, allowing them to focus on more complex and challenging duties.
  4. These transactions involve the processing of invoices, recording expenses, and ensuring timely and accurate payments to vendors.
  5. The pricing could be more cost-efficient and profitable than the overhead expenses necessary to hire and train new personnel when your business relies on manual processes.
  6. For example, AP automation can lead to a 49% cost savings for invoice processing.

Accounts Payable outsourcing and automation sometimes get used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Both can help take a load off of your Accounts Payable department, reduce errors, streamline processes, and save your company money in the long run. But as your business grows, especially if you experience a period of rapid growth, so will the number of administrative tasks that you need to handle on a day-to-day basis. So when the invoices stack up, it’s time to take a moment and create a game plan to scale your Accounts Payable department in the best way for your business. Suppose you have decided against outsourced accounting and have opted to tackle the financial responsibilities of your small business yourself.

outsource accounts payable

·         Helps in-house team

While you may not be able to access the exact data about their projects, case studies and accounts of the provider’s previous work give you an idea about their quality. This goes without saying, but the quality of work done depends on the service provider you choose. To outsource your accounts payable easily, here’re a few things to keep in mind. Most businesses have a few exceptions and business rules in their accounts payable workflow.

outsource accounts payable

outsource accounts payable

Therefore it’s unlikely to provide the same level of cost reduction as outsourcing. Outsourcing the AP function is becoming more and more common as companies realize they can improve operations without making an in-house investment in technology. If your current accounts payable process has considerable cash leaks or issues, moving to outsourced AP may improve budget optimization even after the cost of service fees.

Assessing Provider Capabilities for AP Outsourcing

However, there are also a range of challenges to consider, including security risks. Usually, such third parties use internal servers and cloud storage to store sensitive data. While it serves as centralized access for both parties involved, the data is also prone to potential security breaches and hacks. When it comes to outsourced AP services, error reporting can be problematic.

With less scale, smaller enterprises need more flexibility from outsourcing partners than multinational corporations. Larger outsourcers are less willing and able to customize solutions because their operations are structured to handle large volumes. But organizations also need to look beyond the lowest cost to ensure their partner provides significant cost savings while also driving the highest productivity and five signs it’s time to explore outsourced accounting services performance. Benchmarking your AP organization to your peers can help you identify the greatest opportunities for improvement and ROI. For instance, top-performing AP teams process nearly four times the number of invoices than bottom performers, according to American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) benchmarking data. While cost reduction can be important, it’s rarely the sole motivation for outsourcing AP.

outsource accounts payable

And they generally cost less than hiring expert bookkeepers and accountants. This can be done for quite a low hourly rate depending on where you’re comfortable outsourcing to. If you want to keep this part of your business closer to home, check for local AR/AP services in your area. We give you a team of bookkeepers, and simple software to track your finances. We’ll reconcile and categorize your transactions, give you monthly financial statements, and put you in direct touch with your new bookkeeper through our messaging app. Offer suggestions around researching the privacy policies and security measures prior to engaging with the outsource partner.

Although live customer support is ideal, it may not always be in the price range. Staff can also be located overseas and in a completely different time zone; which puts a strain on communication. While these data storage approaches increase the accessibility of the data to the concerned parties, they make pertinent and confidential information more prone to security breaches and unauthorized access. Some companies handle highly sensitive information which can make it difficult to just hand over data to third parties.

Outsourcing accounts payable isn’t just about handing over a company’s AP tasks and calling it a day. Leading outsourcing providers like Corcentric will elevate the AP process with a combination of industry experts and state-of-the-art technology. Remember to assess your current processes and evaluate potential providers thoroughly. As the landscape of accounts payable outsourcing evolves, staying informed about future trends can help you make informed decisions and stay competitive in the dynamic business environment. With the growing importance of data security, outsourcing providers will continue to invest in robust security measures and compliance standards to protect sensitive financial information. Once you’ve identified the need for outsourcing, it’s time to evaluate potential service providers.

Identifying your biggest business drivers at the start – and aligning your leadership team and BPO provider behind them – ensures the greatest value. Dependency – While it’s great to be able to hand off a responsibility you don’t like or can’t fulfill, it also makes you rely on that vendor. If they experience any issues that interrupt service for you, there’s little you can do to make sure your own vendors are still getting paid on time. Potentially reduced costs – It’s possible that outsourcing your AP duties will be more cost-effective than hiring and training your own team.

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  • Last Updated : 21/06/2024
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