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Business owners always want to find ways to do more with less. Accounts payable may not always be the first place to look — but by adopting innovative solutions, businesses can optimize cash flow, enhance supplier relationships and create operational efficiency.

There are several digital payment solutions that can help make the workday easier for business owners. From integrated digital payments solutions to automation tools these new ways of paying your bills, suppliers, and staff can help you save time by reducing manual work and streamlining accounts payable operations.

Here are six innovations that can help your business optimize payables so that you can get back to doing what you love — running your business.

1. Save time and resources by integrating accounting software with banking platforms

Advancements in technology have made it easier for two different systems and/or applications to talk to each other. An Application Programming Interface (API), for example, acts as a bridge between software products, accounting, enabling them to seamlessly communicate payables level detail without someone in the business or bookkeeper manually obtaining this information.

How this innovation applies to accounts payable is that it can help businesses integrate their accounting software solutions like QuickBooks™, Sage™ and Xero™ with their banking platform, which saves time, improves accuracy, and provides clear visibility into payment transactions.

2. Improve supplier relationships with automated preference management

Paying your suppliers on time and in the way they want to be paid can build and maintain goodwill between you – that could mean better, faster service and potentially money-saving rebates or discounts for consistently prompt payments.

While managing and maintaining supplier information and preferences can be time-consuming, Supplier management systems can help capture and store this data, allowing you to pay suppliers how and when they want to be paid.

3. Increase payment efficiency with automated remittance transmissions

While your business may be looking to streamline payments, your suppliers are just as interested in simplifying receivables – they don’t want to be wondering what your payment is for when it comes in, particularly as they receive payments across various electronic payment methods and from an array of clients.

New integrated solutions provide invoice and other remittance information to suppliers automatically, eliminating the need for you to send information manually to simplify their accounts receivables processing.

For the business making the payment, digital payments solutions that are linked with account software ensure the timely posting and reconciliation of payments made to suppliers — reducing time, errors and uncertainty for business owners and their bookkeepers.

4. Use better payments security and controls

In many businesses, more than one individual authorizes payments as a way of mitigating fraud and reducing the risk of human error. While one person may originate the payment, others may then approve and authorize it. Today, while many people continue to work from home, you may not have all of these individuals under one roof, making this segregation of duties a tricky process to maintain should you be dealing with paper-based payment methods.

5. Make payments seamlessly from anywhere, to anywhere

Cheques are still prevalent in many businesses, although they present challenges not only in terms of the cost of preparing and sending the cheques, but also given remote work environments, businesses are faced with the complication of the physical location of cheques and issuing them.

Through digital innovation, businesses can now easily create a simple payment order online that pays multiple suppliers in various currencies to multiple countries around the world. This means saving paper, postage, fees, processing costs, and more.

6. Access funds from more available sources to make payments

If you’re like many business owners, you may worry about having the cash flow available to pay your bills on time. Will you have enough cash on hand to meet your expenses when they are due? Can you easily access funds you have at other financial institutions or from your credit cards to make payments to suppliers?

As companies are looking to streamline their work, digital, integrated solutions can help you address challenges and enjoy greater payments efficiencies.

Not only can the adoption of new payment technology improve your bottom line, but it can also provide you with a higher level of certainty and clarity around your cash position, helping you make more informed decisions about your business.

RBC Payment Solutions can positively affect your bottom line. Increase your sales by reaching a wider customer base while protecting your business by reducing the risks of collecting cash. Learn more.

Diane Amato is a freelance writer who loves to talk about finances, travel and technology.