From XU Magazine, 
Issue 39

A new age for accounts payable and receivable

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
You can find the original post here:

The way we do things is constantly evolving, even if we don’t always realise it. As late as the 20th century, ice was big business.

It was manually harvested from rivers and ponds and delivered to houses and businesses, sometimes travelling all the way across oceans and seas. Now? Most people just go to their freezer. The international ice trade went the way of many other obsolete processes, into the past and out of our memories.

These days, technology has made the pace of change faster than ever before. But while no one would consider importing glacier ice from overseas, many other slow, manual processes still persevere. Consider accounts payable and receivable. The functions have historically been highly manual during all parts of the process, even after going online with the dawn of the internet and computing technology.

Now, we have the chance to fully reimagine accounts payable and receivable to happen seamlessly and with minimal intervention. Over the years, automation has made light work of single elements, like importing bills or managing approval workflows, and it has the potential to help even more.

Here at ApprovalMax, we’re proud to be a part of this evolution – we want to make AP and AR just happen for businesses, their accountants, and bookkeepers, but still with the right checks and balances along the way.

Our latest product releases aim to do exactly that; offering a way to automate accounts payable and receivable from end-to-end, all in one platform. With this, we’re excited to enter a new era for how we approach AP and AR here at ApprovalMax. Introducing our two new products – ApprovalMax Capture and ApprovalMax Pay (Beta)!

"As a bookkeeper, we’ve moved from literally writing stuff up in Kalamazoo books and having really rigorous filing processes for paper-based systems, to everything going digital. These days, things happen much more quickly, with higher volume coming through, and that’s because we can handle accounts payable and receivable in a far more streamlined way.  But with fewer people involved in the process, the question is ‘what we can do in software to make sure we're adding the financial controls we need?’ for things like catching duplicate invoices or checking that we haven’t paid one previously.Cassandra Scott, Head of Bookkeeping APAC at ApprovalMax

Automatically import bills into ApprovalMax

One of our most requested features is now here – an in-built automated data capture tool, ApprovalMax Capture. This kick-starts your accounts payable process by importing bills and receipts through photo or PDF upload, individually, in bulk, or via email.

These outstanding bills automatically funnel into you or your client’s pre-set approval workflows, so the right documents end up in the hands of the right people. With a little bit of set up, it all happens without lifting a finger!

Why use ApprovalMax Capture?

  • All-in-one control. Take care of everything from ApprovalMax and simplify your tech stack – one less login for less hassle.
  • Save time and reduce errors. Use automated data capture technology to import bill details faster and with more accuracy.
  • Add extra layers of control. ApprovalMax Capture funnels incoming bills straight into your approval workflows before they enter your general ledger so they always go through your proper processes.

Manual data entry isn’t just time consuming but expensive too. The average cost of paying a PDF invoice is £13.93/AUD$27.67 and for paper invoices £16.13/AUD$30.87 with most of  this due to the manual work of inputting data from bills and processing for payment, including fixing errors.

With automated data capture, it’s easy to get things right from the start. Bills enter the system accurately and on time. Then, they automatically go through the right checks and balances so you and your team can focus on higher value tasks while feeling confident in your accounts payable data. With ApprovalMax Capture, this all happens via the one app to streamline the process even more.

ApprovalMax Capture is now available for Xero customers in all regions, with QuickBooks Online and Oracle NetSuite compatibility coming soon. To get started, simply add ApprovalMax Capture to your existing subscription, set up email preferences, and sync to approval processes.

A secure and convenient way to pay bills

We’re excited to launch a new way to pay bills directly from ApprovalMax. Using open banking technology, ApprovalMax Pay (Beta) allows you to pay approved bills directly from the platform and build stronger financial controls across your entire accounts payable process. Why make payments from ApprovalMax though? Just think – it’s easier to travel an entire journey via one express train than get out halfway and change.

Currently, ApprovalMax Pay is available in beta for UK businesses using Xero. In a few simple steps, securely sync your bank account to ApprovalMax via open banking and pay approved bills with ease. Payments can only be made for bills that have been through your preset approval workflow, so you know funds are going to the right place.

Why use ApprovalMax Pay?

  • Strengthen your financial controls. Feel confident knowing you’re paying a bill that’s gone through the right approvals process and internal verification checks, every step of the way.  
  • Protect your banking data. With ApprovalMax Pay, there’s no need to share sensitive bank data. Instead, employees create a request, pay approved bills in a few clicks, and have this added to the audit log for full visibility.  
  • Avoid payment errors. There’s minimal risk of paying the wrong amount (or even person!) with ApprovalMax since there’s no need to manually copy payment details and amounts.

ApprovalMax Pay allows businesses, their accountants, and bookkeepers to securely manage payments from one platform. Extra security controls mean you can authorise only certain people to make payments and update beneficiary payment details, mapping these to a predetermined delegation of authority.

While ApprovalMax Pay (Beta) is only available in the UK right now, watch this space – we hope to bring it to other markets soon.

The next phase for ApprovalMax

Since our first day in business, we’ve helped more than 15,000 customers automate their approvals for accounts payable. Now, with the addition of accounts receivable features, like sales quotes and invoices, and our new features ApprovalMax Capture and ApprovalMax Pay, we’re adding on to that journey for our customers and partners to give them end-to-end accounts payable and receivable automation. And we’re excited about what this new path brings!

By managing everything from POs to payments in one platform, it’s not only faster, more convenient, and safer, but you’re less likely to make errors and mess up your processes. It takes just a few easy steps to set up workflows that go all the way from preparation to payment.

In a world where change is constant, and it’s only getting faster, we want to make life easier for our customers. By bringing each step of accounts payable and receivable into one place, combined with automation and built-in financial controls, we hope to take you there.

Why leave it there?

To learn more about ApprovalMax and our new products

Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates as they happen
We hate spam too. We NEVER sell our mailing list.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.