Best Practices for Utilizing AP Automation to Minimize Fraud

 5/2/2024 by Andy Birkey

An accounts payable (AP) automation solution like MetaViewer can be an important fraud prevention tool for enterprises. Adopting a secure system, establishing control best practices, and maintaining visibility are all key aspects of a good fraud minimization plan.

Getting Started

  • Choose a Reputable Provider: If you haven’t already selected your AP automation solution, know that MetaViewer successfully completed SOC 2 and HIPAA audits, verified by A-LIGN. AP automation solution providers should be continually improving security. 

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Encryption: Use MFA to add an extra layer of security for accessing the AP system. Ensure that all data, both in transit and at rest, is encrypted, reducing the risk of data interception or unauthorized access. This should be a best practice across the entire enterprise. 

  • Integration with Existing Systems: Securely integrate with your existing financial systems and ERPs. This not only enhances efficiency but also ensures consistency in data and reduces the chances of manipulation. MetaViewer is a great choice for enterprises using Microsoft Dynamics and other ERPs!

Cultivating a Culture of Vigilance

  • Regular Training Sessions: Make sure your teams know how to use the systems correctly. Conduct regular training for all employees involved in the AP process to familiarize them with the automation tools and educate them on the latest fraud prevention techniques. 

  • Fraud Awareness: Educate employees about the common types of fraud in AP, such as fake invoices and phishing attacks, and train them on how to recognize and respond to suspicious activities.

  • Reduced Human Error: By minimizing the human element in invoice processing, AP automation reduces the risk of errors that can lead to fraud. Automated systems are programmed to match invoices with purchase orders and receipt data, ensuring that only valid, verified expenses are paid.

Regular Audits: Ensuring Ongoing Integrity

  • Scheduled and Random Audits: Perform both scheduled and surprise audits of the AP process to detect any irregularities or signs of fraud. Regular audits help in identifying potential vulnerabilities and enforcing compliance with established policies.

  • Analyze Audit Trails: Utilize the AP automation system's capability to track and log all transactions and changes made within the system. Regularly review these audit trails to detect unusual patterns that could indicate fraudulent activities.

  • Enhanced Control and Visibility: AP automation systems offer detailed, real-time visibility into all transactions. This means that every invoice and payment can be tracked, and any discrepancies can be quickly identified. Enhanced visibility makes it harder for fraudulent activities to go unnoticed.

Implementing AP automation with a focus on fraud prevention is a strategic imperative for businesses seeking to safeguard their financial operations. By carefully setting up the system, investing in employee training, conducting regular audits and backups, and remaining vigilant against new threats, companies can significantly minimize the risk of AP fraud. 

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