Jun 26, 2024
3 minutes

How to revolutionise your finance function with smarter accounts payable software

Paying with Pahyhawk corporate cards at a checkout
Quick summary

Can you imagine being able to slash your accounts payable costs dramatically overnight? Stop invoices piling up, and learn how to turn chaos into order with advanced accounts payable software that can save you money and redefine your financial processes and workflows.

Table of Contents

    Managing accounts payable with outdated systems often means navigating loads of inefficiencies and uncovering hidden costs. Plus, manual invoice processing costs are over five times higher than automated invoices (according to the Institute of Finance & Management), meaning any hesitation to upgrade is costly in more ways than one.

    Financial leaders recognise the burden, but convincing the C-suite to adopt modern solutions can be a major headache.

    But at Payhawk, we offer a solution (and excellent implementation) that even the most change-averse C-suite members will struggle to resist. With a streamlined accounts payable solution (including advanced purchase orders), expense management, subscription management, and more, all in one place.

    How State of Play Hospitality (Bounce & Flight Club) streamline AP

    The biggest benefits of accounts payable and purchase orders from Payhawk

    With our accounts payable and purchase order software, you can transform traditional processes into streamlined, automated, error-free operations.

    Automated accounts payable process

    Spending ages checking invoice payment details? Matching figures? And more? At Payhawk, we dramatically reduce manual work and errors by automating invoice capture processing. With our solution, you can:

    • Effortlessly connect new invoices to existing purchase orders in seconds
    • Seamlessly pull data from invoices in over 60 languages using advanced OCR technology, reducing manual entry and errors (and setting up easy-to-select categorisation so it's clear where the spend belongs, i.e. team, project, and budget from the second it's uploaded)
    • Set up custom, multi-step approval workflows that reflect your organisation's structure and policies, ensuring that any planned spend is properly reviewed and authorised

    Efficiency-boosting purchase order management

    With our features, you can avoid overspending and costly errors through:

    • Automatic 3-way matching of purchase orders, receipt notes, and invoices, which ensures that payments are accurate and justified before being issued
    • Highly configurable purchase order policies you can adapt to suit specific company needs and enhance financial governance

    Centralised payment management

    Manage all types of payments in one place — including invoice payments and employee reimbursements. This centralisation provides:

    • A clear overview of spend by team and entity, helping identify opportunities for cost optimisation
    • A stress-free month-end process with automated reconciliations and integrations with leading ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite

    Other big benefits

    Beyond streamlining accounts payable and supplier management, Payhawk delivers a host of additional benefits, including:

    • Unified real-time spend management: Gone are the days of financial shadows and surprises. We provide an all-encompassing, real-time view of your company's spend, letting you account for every dollar spent, ensuring that you make every budget decision with precision
    • Minimised manual effort: Our solution helps completely wipe out any tedious manual labour. We help you transform vital executive oversight and expense processes into something paperless, effortless, and flexible, letting your team focus on what truly matters
    • End-to-end automated reconciliation: Every transaction finds its match with an automated reconciliation process. You can replace tedious receipt chasing with is seamless, efficient system that aligns each expense with its proof of purchase
    • Digitised expense management: From the moment someone makes an expense to its final entry in the books, Payhawk digitises and automates each step. This digital transformation of employee expenses heralds a new standard of efficiency.
    • Streamlined pre-accounting: Say farewell to manual data entry. At Payhawk, we automate the pre-accounting process, enabling finance and accounting teams to redirect their expertise to strategic analysis and forward planning
    • Enhanced corporate card management: Our corporate cards will give you a new level of control and convenience when it comes to business expenses. With features like custom spend controls, zero balances, and fund request options, these cards empower your employees while giving you complete oversight of all corporate spending

    David Watson, Group Financial Controller at the State of Play Hospitality, says:

    Pre-switching to Payhawk, we used credit cards and bill.com for the accounts payable (AP) fulfilment system. It didn't integrate with NetSuite or combine cards and AP fulfilment, so there was some switching between tools. One of the biggest advantages of Payhawk is the integration of our accounting software and the ability to put payments in the hands of the actual users and operators (venues).

    Payhawk setup: The initial steps

    This preparatory phase is all about integration and education — ensuring that your systems are synced and your people are primed for the upcoming changes.

    As Robbie Hadfield, ACCA, Director of Solution Engineering at Payhawk, says:

    We’ve seamlessly transitioned thousands of companies to Payhawk. Our data imports, integrations, and practical checklists ensure a smooth switch with minimal disruption to your organisation. Plus, our experienced Implementation Managers offer guidance and best practices for a thorough and fully phased roll-out, making expense management seamless and stress-free.

    With such dedicated support, your transition to Payhawk not only aligns with best practices but also positions your business for a streamlined transformation in managing financial outflows.

    Seamless ERP integrations

    Your journey with Payhawk begins with seamlessly integrating your ERP system, which is crucial for multi-entity management. Here, you should align every subsidiary within your group, creating a cohesive, interconnected financial ecosystem. Payhawk facilitates this by meshing with your current setup, ensuring a smooth transition with minimal disruption.

    Importing your “master set of data” into Payhawk

    Before adopting our robust solution, including invoice management software, we need to get your master set of data (ERP data) into our system.

    With our expert implementation managers, this process is easier than ever before. We support direct data imports from Excel, ensuring all your vital financial information is migrated and ready to go from day one.

    Additional configuration

    With your data securely in Payhawk, the next step is fine-tuning your workflows. From setting up approval hierarchies to implementing card policies and receipt regulations, our flexible configuration options let you set up your system precisely how you need it.

    Empowering through training

    A well-trained team is the cornerstone of a successful system implementation. That's why core users — including Controllers and Directors of Accounting — receive comprehensive training on all of our top features, including:

    • ERP integration: Test and confirm the correct mapping of expenses to ensure flawless financial reporting
    • Expense review processes: Learn the ropes of our expense reviews, ensuring that managing and approving expenses is a smooth process
    • Subscription management: Transition recurring card expenses from your previous provider to Payhawk so you start earning cashback immediately
    • Month-end mastery: Equip your team with the know-how to close books efficiently at month's end using our tools

    As Howard Thompson, Global Financial Controller at GDS Group, puts it:

    With all our expenses now coded up to project codes in Payhawk, we're not just tracking costs — we're analysing our financial performance with precision. Payhawk's integration pulls custom fields straight from NetSuite into our platform, making financial reporting a breeze.

    Kickstarting your journey with Payhawk

    Activating your accounts payable solution is where everything comes together, changing how your business manages its finances from A to Z.

    Phase 1: Accounts payable

    The first step is to set a clear transition plan for your accounts payable processes. Here’s how we make it happen:

    Staggered roll-out

    To avoid any end-of-month reconciliation headaches, we propose a staggered roll-out, starting fresh at the beginning of a new month. This aligns your processes with our system without disrupting your existing workflows.

    Transitioning from legacy systems

    To prevent duplicate work, draw a line in the sand with a cut-off date for the old system. Wrapping up outstanding invoices within the legacy system ensures you're not juggling two ledgers, paving the way for a clean slate with Payhawk.

    Additional configuration

    With your foundational data already imported during the pre-launch phase, we tailor your Payhawk setup further to suit your needs:

    • Payhawk accounts mailbox: Automate the creation of accounts payable invoices with a dedicated email address
    • Accounts payable workflows: Establish who handles what in the payment process, ensuring a clear division of responsibilities and control
    • Payment control features: Ensure you decide and assign roles to team members to specify who can pay invoices, who can confirm payments, and who can execute them

    Comprehensive training sessions

    Sign up your accounts payable team (and any other finance staff involved in invoice processing) for detailed training sessions to ensure proficiency with all our features.

    • ERP integration: We’ll cover how to integrate your accounts payable invoices with your ERP system, ensuring smooth data flow and accuracy
    • Invoice management: Learn how to upload, code, and automate invoices within Payhawk, streamlining the entire invoicing process
    • Review and payment processes: We’ll guide you through the review and payment functionalities within Payhawk to optimise your financial operations
    • End-of-month protocols: Training will include how to efficiently handle end-of-month processes to close your books swiftly and accurately

    Running your first month-end with Payhawk

    We understand that the first month-end can be daunting; therefore, we provide extensive resources and guides to ensure you are well-prepared.

    • Month-end checklist: Start by reviewing your month-end checklist, focusing on reconciling ledgers, including Bank, AR, AP, card expenses, and intercompany transactions. We recommend finalising these by the fifth working day of the following month for optimal efficiency
    • Invoice review: Ensure that Payhawk supplier invoices are reviewed and any necessary month-end adjustments are considered, utilising tools like future amortisation schedules or custom fields
    • Accruals for POs: For purchase orders with goods received but not invoiced, we advise setting up accruals to align your financial reporting with actual goods received

    Conclusion & next steps

    As Payhawk Director of Implementation, Martin Reindl, says:

    Payhawk is very easy to set up thanks to a) our experienced team and b) bulk import processes. We ensure no time is wasted on manual data entry! Yes, we have a checklist, but it's important for us to work as per the client's specific challenges and goals. We want the customer to feel the benefit they've highlighted quickly and effectively, so we prioritise this highly!

    Want to experience seamless implementation, streamlined accounts payable, and countless hours of saved time? Book a personalised demo today.

    Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrow
    Trish Toovey
    Senior Content Manager

    Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.

    See all articles by Trish →

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