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How to Integrate Accounts Payable Automation with Your Existing Business Systems

Managing accounts payable (AP) in the construction industry is often a tedious and time-consuming process. You’re faced with hundreds of invoices a month, each needing to be read, recorded, matched to purchase orders and approved before payments can be processed.

Relying on manual processes for this work often leads to human error, payment issues and a substantial amount of time wasted on rework. But integrating AP automation software with your existing business systems can streamline your operations significantly.

Let’s explore how to effectively integrate AP automation with your project management and accounting software.

The importance of seamless integration

AP automation is designed to simplify and streamline the process of managing invoices and payments.

However, to fully leverage its benefits, it needs to be seamlessly integrated with the other systems you rely on, such as project management tools and accounting software.

This integration ensures that data flows smoothly between systems, reducing the need for manual data entry and the potential for errors that come with it.

Connecting AP automation with project management systems

Project management systems are the backbone of construction operations, overseeing everything from resource allocation to deadline tracking.

Integrating AP automation with these systems can enhance project cost management and improve operational efficiency by:

  • Automated invoice processing: Linking AP automation tools directly with project management software allows invoices to be automatically associated with the correct projects and cost codes. This ensures that every dollar spent is accurately tracked against the project budget.

  • Real-time budget monitoring: With integration, you can see real-time financial data directly within your project management dashboard. This allows project managers to make informed decisions quickly, without having to switch between systems or wait for updated financial reports.

  • Streamlined approvals: Integration allows for the setting up of customized approval workflows that reflect the specific needs and hierarchy of your projects. This means faster processing times and fewer bottlenecks, keeping projects on schedule and within budget.

Linking AP automation with accounting software

The real power of AP automation comes alive when it's integrated with your accounting software.

This connection ensures that all financial data is consistent and up-to-date across all systems, which is crucial for accurate financial reporting and analysis.

  • Consistency and accuracy: With AP automation, every invoice recorded in your project management system is also reflected in your accounting software. This eliminates discrepancies and ensures that your financial statements always reflect the most current data.

  • Efficient cash flow management: Integration helps in forecasting and managing cash flow by providing a comprehensive view of pending invoices and payment schedules. This is crucial for maintaining a healthy balance between receivables and payables in the construction industry.

Real-world examples

Exclusive Linings

Exclusive Linings, a leader in Commercial Ceilings and Walls across Western and South Australia, experienced the benefits of AP automation firsthand after implementing Lentune's construction software.

By automating their AP processes, Exclusive Linings:

  • Freed up a whole team member to focus on more strategic initiatives
  • Picked up on pricing issues and negotiated better agreements with suppliers
  • Made back their investment in Lentune through cost savings and improved efficiency

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa, a world-class natural thermal water complex in New Zealand, streamlined their accounts payable processes with the help of Lentune and Accredo.

Integrating with Accredo, Lentune provided a sustainable solution that removed data entry and gave the team control and visibility over their invoices, demonstrating the versatility of AP automation across various industries.

 

Best practices for successful integration

Successfully integrating AP automation with existing business systems requires a strategic approach. Here are some best practices to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Thorough planning: Before integration, it's essential to map out the existing processes and identify any potential challenges or gaps. This helps in configuring the AP automation system to address specific business needs effectively.

  • Choosing the right tools: Not all AP automation solutions are created equal. Select a solution that offers robust integration capabilities with your current project management and accounting software. This compatibility is crucial for seamless data exchange and process automation.

  • Stakeholder engagement: Getting buy-in from all stakeholders, including finance, project management, and IT departments, is crucial. Their input can provide insights into specific requirements and help in tailoring the integration to meet the diverse needs of different departments.

  • Continuous training and support: Ensure that all users are adequately trained and comfortable with the new systems. Continuous training and readily available support can help alleviate any resistance to change and ensure that the team makes the most of the new capabilities.

Leveraging technology for future growth

Looking ahead, the integration of AP automation within construction businesses is more than a trend; it's becoming a necessity. As the industry evolves, the ability to adapt and embrace new technologies will separate the leaders from the followers.

  • Investing in innovation: Businesses that invest in AP automation and other innovative technologies can gain a significant competitive advantage. This investment not only improves efficiency but also positions the company as a forward-thinking leader in the industry.

  • Scalability for expansion: Integrated AP automation systems are designed to grow with your business. As your business expands, these systems can easily scale to handle increased volume and complexity without compromising performance or efficiency.

Conclusion

Integrating AP automation with your existing project management and accounting systems is a strategic move that can transform the financial operations of your construction business.

By automating and streamlining processes, enhancing compliance and improving reporting accuracy, you pave the way for increased efficiency and profitability.

Real-world examples like Exclusive Linings and Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa illustrate the tangible benefits of this integration, from cost savings and efficiency gains to improved strategic focus and vendor relationships.

Embracing this technology not only simplifies the present but also secures a more innovative and competitive future for your business.

How we can help

At Lentune, we build smarter construction software to liberate your financial workflows. Our accounts payable automation software easily integrates with all major accounting and project management software, giving you simple, end-to-end process perfection.

We'd love to show you how it works! In a live demo, we can answer any questions and show you how Lentune could grow your business.

Book a demo