Across all walks of life, one thing that brings people together is the fact that we all have bills to pay. When it comes to business owners, the nature and quantity of those bills becomes more difficult to manage. Businesses have varied suppliers who need to get paid on different schedules, intervals and perhaps even currencies. The reality is, handling payments can be a meticulous and time-consuming task, and like others, can be something that business owners prefer to outsource to accountants or bookkeepers. Traditionally, invoice and payment management was a multi-step process involving manual data entry, paying close attention to the amount and bank account entered. As a result, this has become an undesirable service offering for accountants and bookkeepers, who may shy away from the additional responsibility and time commitment.
Manual data entry has four main issues that surround it. Firstly, it is subject to human error, creating potential for businesses to incur serious financial or reputational risks as a result of a misfiled, unpaid or duplicate payment or invoice. Further, manual processes can be delayed for all sorts of reasons, and such delays can cause strain on relationships with suppliers, creating instability. Because of the time-consuming and repetitive nature of manual payments, it is a task that often gets pushed back on professionals’ agendas, creating a cash flow bottleneck, where payments are close to being due, but have yet to be filed due to other tasks being prioritised. Lastly, the time spent on manual invoice management, whether undertaken by business owners themselves or outsourced to accountants or bookkeepers, is time that could be spent on other tasks.
Financial mismanagement, caused by manually administered payments, can have dire effects on businesses. 48% of small and medium-sized enterprises have reported that overdue invoices have a critical impact on their business performance. 28% have said that they have been forced to delay supplier payments in the past, with 25% of suppliers affirming plans to cease to provide supplies to late-paying customers – this tarnishes a relationship which is necessary for successful business growth. On a larger scale, there has been a 25% increase in the average amount owed in late payments in the last twelve months. Such a systemic issue requires a groundbreaking solution – this lies in automation.
By adopting fully-integrated and automated B2B invoice management and payment solutions, business owners and financial can win back up to ten hours per week which would otherwise be dedicated professionals to filing invoices and ordering payments – think of all that could be done with an extra half day each week. Libeo affords its users greater financial stability and security, letting them know how much money is coming in and out, and when, enabling them to dedicate time and resources to plan ahead and continue driving their businesses forward.
Automation has also taken the accounting world by storm, giving accountsants and bookkeepers greater visibility of companies’ finances, allowing them to give more informed advice to clients and actively participate in discussions, enhancing the business development process. Further to this, automation removes silos between different areas of the business, removing needless approval processes and ensuring smooth sailing.
In a world where 80% of businesses go bankrupt in their first year of operations, and where 25% of those bankruptcies are a result of late payments, all members of a business have much to gain from embracing payment automation.