In the intricate landscape of modern finance, managing accounts payable remains a critical function that can significantly impact an organization’s financial health and operational efficiency, especially if not managed or executed correctly.

In enterprise resource planning, SAP Accounts Payable takes center stage as a robust and indispensable financial management component, offering advanced tools and functionalities like the payment program to streamline the complex process of managing all the vendors invoices and payments.

This article discusses the world of SAP Accounts Payable, providing a comprehensive guide to its core features, best practices, how it can be harnessed to drive financial excellence within your organization, and where our expert SAP consultant team can come in to help.

Let’s get started!

What is Accounts Payable in SAP?

The SAP Accounts Payable (FI-AP) application is designed to help companies simplify their accounts payable process, manage all customer and invoice data in a centralized repository, and support all standard payment methods in the payment program, including checks, money orders, and bank transfers.

SAP Accounts Payable plays an integral role in both Financial Accounting and Materials Management operations, providing a unified location for users to monitor and approve invoices and manage other critical account information, like vendors, deliveries, invoices, accounts payable, and payments through the payment program. The system also supports the Cash Management application component to improve liquidity planning.

The SAP accounts payable process consists of the following phases:

  • Invoice creation
  • Invoice processing
  • Customer payment
  • Payment processing
  • Invoice reconciliation

Understanding SAP Accounts Payable Automation

Accounts payable process automation is the methodology used to minimize human intervention in the AP process, eliminating error-prone manual processes from accounts and trade payables process, and integrating critical accounting software with an online business network for seamless transactions.

By leveraging AP automation functionality, companies can:

  • Detect and correct invoice errors before submission for quicker invoice approvals
  • Send automatic emails to approvers’ inboxes to facilitate better invoice data sharing
  • Track electronic invoices and payment statuses through the online business network
  • Leverage faster approvals to ensure on-time payments for all purchase orders
  • Send payments automatically on the authorized date and record payment data in a timely fashion
  • Improve visibility into business-critical AP processes and general ledger functionality
  • Time-out payments to manage cash and capture early-payment discounts for eligible users

Why SAP Accounts Payable?

The SAP Accounts Payable platform provides an automated system for creating, analyzing, and monitoring invoices and facilitating more efficient operations across the AP department, freeing up employees to complete higher-value activities rather than tedious manual processes.

This way, companies can move closer toward comprehensive payment and invoice management processes by streamlining core AP initiatives, providing in-built connections to SAP ECC and S/4HANA systems, and processing more invoices without needing more internal staff.

Here are a few main reasons to shift to the SAP Accounts Payable platform:

  • SAP AP allows users to streamline invoice creation and reconciliation processes across teams.
  • Users can leverage automation features like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Machine Learning (ML) to facilitate an error-free AP process.
  • SAP Accounts Payable services make it easier to keep a comprehensive record of all invoices and payments to suppliers for better business decisions.
  • Users can manage non-PO invoices and invoices for services in the same place, reducing invoice processing costs and improving invoicing accuracy.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help understanding the complete SAP Accounts Payable process, additional support deciding the most efficient way to automate your most important AP operations, or just an extra hand navigating the flow of financial data across your entire organization, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our senior-level, US-based SAP consultant team has the technical skills, functional knowledge, and real-world experience to handle all your most important SAP project needs — from first-time implementations to existing software integrations, product enhancements, and everything in between.

Wherever your organization’s unique SAP needs lie, we’ve got the right people for the job!

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Interested in learning more about the benefits of SAP Accounts Payable or working with our team of expert SAP consultants? Ready to get started on an SAP AP automation project with our team?

Contact us today!