Fraud is a problem that just won’t go away, and the cost to businesses is extortionate: in the UK alone, fraud is estimated to cost companies up to £193bn a year and, with criminals devising ever more complex methods to attack organisations, every business needs to be aware of the dangers. Complacency won’t prevent an attempt to gain financially from your business’s success.
Accounts payable departments are particularly vulnerable targets: the long paper trail that is created when invoices are first sent by suppliers contain valuable information that can be harnessed to generate fraudulent activity. Even high-profile organisations, such as Dublin Zoo who lost €500,000 in a scam, are not immune, but managers of small enterprises are often unaware of the threat criminals pose, making account payable frauds in small business a sad fact of life.
The Fraud Prevention Advantages Of Automated AP
Automated accounts payable software, such as Statement Matching, has long been associated with securing key improvements for the AP department. Fewer errors, faster payments and reduced late fees are among the benefits of switching to an automated system, but AP software also decreases the risk of your business becoming a victim of fraud. Every transaction that is made must be recorded on the system, so every invoice and payment can be located quickly, and cross-checks with other departments, such as purchase ledger, can also be completed in no time at all.
Automated accounts payable software offers complete peace of mind, for these reasons:
1) Effortless Audit Trails
Internal audits are an essential tool that can help to identify unusual or erroneous activity in an organisation’s finances. Statement Matching disposes of the need to spend many working hours rifling through reams of paper, as a transaction can be quickly located and its entire history viewed, without the need to cross-reference several documents. The entire record-keeping and filing system of the AP department will be simplified, so mistakes are less likely to happen, while other critical information, such as missing invoice data and unusual invoice activity, are automatically reported.
2) Regulated Access
Due to the nature of accounts payable operations, confidentiality and security of data has always been a priority. Automated software offers consistent and reliable Cloud-level security to ensure that only authorised personnel can access the system. Access can be restricted to named colleagues, to authorise invoices, reducing the confusion and errors that may occur when another staff member takes on the responsibility without a manager’s knowledge or authority.
3) Tailored Operational Practices
Effective AP departments manage the operation efficiently but, with a large volume of paper invoices to process individually, it is understandable that mistakes can occur. With tight deadlines to meet, it would be easy for an unscrupulous employee to take advantage of time pressures to commit fraud, knowing that the chance of the activity being spotted would be remote. An automated solution enables your business to decide its best practice and to create a workflow that every team member must follow and which cannot be bypassed, meaning the integrity of the system is unlikely to be compromised.
Find Out More
If you’re looking to beef up your AP security to ward off the threat of fraud, either from within or outside your organisation, Statement Matching’s automated software can help to establish robust measures that will protect your data and your revenues. Get in touch to find out more and to arrange a free product demo.