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What Are Integrated Payables?

Last editedMar 20222 min read

How much time does your business spend on manual accounts payable and receivable processes? Your suppliers and vendors most likely each have their own payment preferences, which means you need to deal with everything from checks to ACH payments. Integrated payables solutions streamline this process to save time and money. What are integrated payables, and could this type of electronic solution work for you? Here’s a closer look at integrated payables and receivables.

What are integrated payables?

Also called consolidated payables, integrated payables describes a method of automating all different types of payment into a single file for more efficient processing. Payment methods could include card payments, electronic checks, ACH transfers, paper checks, and others.

While normally each method would have its own process involved, with integrated payables solutions you consolidate these processes together. With a single payment workflow, your accounts payable or receivable departments can merge these various payment methods together for streamlined processing. The single file is sent to the consolidated payables provider, usually a bank, where payments are then issued from a central hub to vendors.

Advantages of integrated payables and receivables

There are plentiful benefits to using integrated payables rather than performing these tasks manually. By consolidating multiple workflows into a single step, you control when and where your funds go with precise bank instructions. Here are just a few associated benefits to using this type of solution:

  • Speed and efficiency: Businesses enjoy faster, more efficient payments processing compared to manual processing.

  • Increased cash flow: With less time required waiting for payments, businesses have access to an improved and steady flow of cash.

  • Improvement in B2B relationships: With full visibility on both sides from a central platform, real-time updates let vendors know where their money is.

  • Less room for error: Manual payment processing leaves your payments prone to human error, which can take considerable time and cost to rectify. Payments are initiated directly from a central electronic system with any discrepancies automatically highlighted for approval.

  • Secure payment processing: Integrated payables and receivables use the latest payment security methods like two-factor authentication, tokenization, and end-to-end encryption.

  • Remote payment processing: With more businesses now working remotely, using an integrated payables system allows your accounts payable department to maintain control over payment processes at a distance. There’s no need to physically go into the office and sign checks.

Challenges of integrated payables and receivables

On the other hand, implementing a new integrated payables solution will also come with its own set of challenges. One of the first things to keep in mind is that most banks will require companies to use their specific file format for processing. Whether you’re using FIS integrated payables or another solution, it’s important to make sure all codes match up and meet requirements.

Another factor to consider is the time required to upgrade your accounts payable systems to this new format. Digitizing your systems can pay off, but you need to make sure that all team members are onboard and aware of the new requirements. Implementing a consolidated payables system will also require the assistance of your company’s IT team, and you’ll need to shop around to find a compatible solution that integrates easily with your existing accounting platform.

Could your business benefit from integrated payables?

Is an integrated payables solution right for you? If your business currently uses multiple payment methods on a regular basis, this could be an easy way to consolidate them together for faster, more efficient processing. Integrated payables and receivables is also something to look into if you’re interested in making the switch to a paperless office. Be sure to shop around to find a solution that works best for you, whether it’s with your existing bank or a separate financial services provider.

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