Many businesses have already implemented invoice automation systems as a part of an automated AP platform. However, not all automated invoice systems are created equal. There are two main types of automated invoice systems: those based on hard drives and those that work in the cloud. A cloud-based invoice system offers numerous advantages over a hard-drive-based system. These benefits include:
- More storage
- Better security
- Easier collaboration
- Lower overhead costs
- Easier integration with other programs
- More frequent updates
Read on to learn more about the reasons businesses should move their invoice automation to the cloud.
Benefits of cloud-based invoice automation
The increased storage is the most obvious benefit of moving from a hard-drive-based invoice system to a cloud-based system. Companies that use hard drives to store their invoices will quickly consume all of their available memory. This is true even of small companies, as many small firms still have to handle tens of thousands of invoices per year. If this is the case, the only option is to purchase more hard drives.
Cloud-based systems offer far more storage than hard drives, even for companies that select the most basic plan. When a company using a cloud-based system needs more storage, all they have to do is upgrade its plan. They can handle procuring and setting up additional hard drives. The transition will be seamless, but there should be no interruption to the automated invoice processing system.
Modern cloud solutions, especially cloud-based accounting platforms, use strict security measures. This means that security on these platforms is superior to traditional programs. Many companies have had sensitive financial information stolen from their hard drives by rogue employees or by hackers. This could damage the company’s reputation and even lead to lawsuits. It is possible to avoid this catastrophe by switching to a cloud-based invoice automation platform with tight security.
A cloud-based AP platform allows team members to collaborate more easily. This is especially important now that many AP departments are partially or completely remote. AP staff members in different locations would not be able to work together if the company used a traditional AP system. However, a cloud-based system allows team members to log in from any location. Once logged in, these workers can communicate and work on projects together.
One of the most underrated benefits of cloud-based AP platforms is their lower overhead. Traditional AP platforms will require companies to buy expensive hard drives and external storage devices. These programs may also require the company to purchase and maintain powerful office computers. Such a setup will also use a lot of electricity, resulting in expensive power bills.
A cloud-based program will not require the use of multiple external hard drives. Also, it will allow remote employees to work on the platform using their own computers. It may even allow a company to switch to a remote work environment. This way, the company will not have to pay for an office at all. This will save the company a great deal of money.
Easier integration with other programs
Cloud-based AP automation programs also integrate more easily with other programs. The reason for this is that these programs have access to the AP platform via the Internet, just like employees. Furthermore, many cloud-based software providers make their products interoperable with each other. Many cloud-based AP platforms will have integrations with other built-in programs.
More frequent software updates
The most underrated benefit of moving invoice automation to a cloud-based program is getting more frequent software updates. This is because cloud-based platforms release updates more often than companies that make traditional programs. Also, these updates will be downloaded and installed automatically. Companies will not have to worry about one of their accountants running an obsolete version of their AP program because they forgot to download the update.
These updates frequently include bug fixes that enable the program to run more smoothly. Security enhancements are also common. Sometimes updates for cloud-based AP platforms even add new features.
The things to consider when choosing a cloud-based invoice automation solution
While businesses need to switch to a cloud-based invoice automation platform, they shouldn’t switch to just any platform. Finding a cloud-based platform running successfully for several years is best. Also, companies considering a move to a cloud-based system should learn everything they can about the platform’s security features. After all, the platform will host sensitive financial data from the company and its vendors. Finally, it is important for companies considering a cloud-based AP platform to learn about the software company’s update schedule.