Many companies are coming to understand that automation is a tantalizing alternative to processing accounts payable (AP) invoices manually. It’s easy to see that less paper and fewer manual touch points can add up to competitive advantages across the board; such as lower processing costs per invoice, increased vendor satisfaction and enhanced reporting and analytics (just to name a few).
While AP automation is an obvious answer for companies looking to modernize their AP departments, the harder decision is whether an on-premises or software as a service (SaaS) solution is a better fit.
Moving to the cloud has become an increasingly popular trend in most industries. We store our personal photos in the cloud, we binge watch our favorite shows from the cloud, and now, we can automate our AP processes in the cloud.
Cloud-based AP automation solutions are not a perfect fit for every accounting department — companies with legacy systems and large IT teams to support them may not be as open to moving all of their data into the cloud. However, for many organizations there are numerous advantages that just can’t be ignored. This is especially true for smaller companies with leaner IT teams and less up-front capital to invest in an on-premises solution.
Choosing Between AP Automation as a SaaS Solution Versus On-Premises
Here are some reasons to consider SaaS over a traditional on-premises solution:
Cloud-based AP automation requires no software, hardware or maintenance fees. Most follow a pay-per-use pricing model, which is ideal for companies with fluctuations in invoice volumes. Companies that choose SaaS also save on the large upfront costs associated with an on-premises solution.
Since there is no server or desktop computer setup (you only need a scanner and Internet connection), companies using a cloud-based AP automation solution gain immediate access to it’s benefits, resulting in more rapid ROI.
Upgrades and enhancements to SaaS AP automation solutions are made in the cloud, so little IT involvement is required. An added bonus is that most cloud solutions offer 24/7 tech support for issue resolution.
Upgrades and enhancements are simple with a cloud-based solution — they are handled automatically by the software provider and included in the subscription price.
With a SaaS solution, there is no need to purchase and install additional servers to support the growth of your company — this is handled automatically by the software provider.
The table below gives you a side-by-side comparison of an on-premises approach vs. a SaaS approach to AP automation.
Successful deployment of technology depends on an understanding of what is needed and why. The cloud might not be the right fit for every organization or IT department, but as a whole, the benefits of cloud-based solutions are hard to deny.
Everyone loves options, right?
Want to learn more? Check out the guidebook, AP Automation as a SaaS Solution: Why Its Crazy Not to Go to the Cloud.