In a typical organisation, around 30% of spend is repeated on a monthly, bi-monthly or bi-weekly basis.
Rolling out AP Automation is an iterative process – you add automation to your accounts payable processes in layers, automating more as you go. Once you’ve optimised your current ways of working, you start to look at extending automation to more areas – for example recurring invoices.
Payment Plans Make Processing Recurring Invoices More Efficient
Every month you get the same bills for the same amounts – the rent, utilities, subscription fees, cleaning services – there are so many aspects of simply “keeping the lights on” for your business. Don’t you wish you could set it and forget it? Now you can with payment plans for recurring invoices. Automating the processing of invoices for this recurring spending is a great way to maximise efficiency, and payment plans make that happen.
Three Ways to Use Payment Plans
There are a few ways you can use payment plans to help improve overall efficiency and ensure timely payment of recurring invoices:
Always Pay On-Time with Scheduled Payments: For regularly occurring invoices with consistent amounts (such as internet service or mobile phone bills), you can configure payment plans to automatically pay invoices on a schedule. This means you’ll never be late because of a lost invoice or slow processing, and your AP team gains efficiency because these invoices do not require additional approvals and payments are issued without processing.
Prevent Budget Overages with Budget-Based Paying: With budget-based payment plans, invoices are paid automatically based on how much is available to spend at that time. You can set your budget to be a certain amount for a specified time frame, once invoices from service providers or suppliers hit that amount, payment is automatically issued.
Manage Invoices in Certain Ranges with Self-Billing Settings: Companies can use self-billing with recurring invoices for costs like rent or leasing where you have a contract for a set amount over several years and need to make regular payments. You can set up automated invoice generation for each of these payments to ensure you’re making payments on these contracts, with tolerances programmed in for a level of flexibility.
Put Payment Plan Insights to Work
The best part of rolling out AP automation across more areas is the ever-important financial data that you’re collecting as you digitise and improve processes. Seeing this data can help you expand and improve your payment plans as well. When you have a full view of your purchase-to-pay data, you can look at trends to identify areas where manual processes are still eating up resources, where new savings can be gained, if there are other invoices that are good candidates for automation using payment plans, what’s still available for use, how the organisation is performing overall, and more.
Use Dashboards to View Payment Plans at a High-Level
Analytics dashboards can help you visualise data related to payment plans to see high-level trends and dig into details to get the most from this feature. In the upcoming release of Basware’s purchase-to-pay solution, users will be able to view two dashboards in relation to payment plans:
1. Payment Plan summary information that enables users to answer questions like:
How much spend have is committed via payment plans (by organisation, supplier, category, etc.)?
How much spend is currently being matched to payment plans?
How many active payment plans do I have?
How much is remaining on each payment plan?
2. Payment plan compliancy data that helps users optimise processes by looking at:
Why payment plans might be failing in automation – root causes, supplier challenges, etc.
How payment plans are configured to prevent over-payments and late payments.
Payment plans are an important tool that AP can use to increase its value to the company, freeing time currently spent on manual processes. That time can, instead, be dedicated to strategic work that allows the company to reach its mandates and goals.
Ready to learn more?
Check out the factsheet on Basware’s payment plan enhancements and contact us – we’re here to help.