As more companies seek to optimize their accounts payable (AP) department, interest in automation grows steadily. But with that interest comes doubt.
In fact, I remember talking to a customer about when they first stumbled upon our solution offering. She said, and I quote, “We honestly didn’t think it was real at first. We thought it was too good to be true.” No joke, those were her words.
And why should you doubt them?! Automation was conceived in order to minimize human intervention and produce a more efficient operation — no different from the goal of AP automation. If you’re worried about whether automation is the real deal, read on.
Debunking the Top 4 AP Automation Myths
- Automation is Too Expensive
Automating AP is an investment, but one that pays off. It provides a 90-95% reduction in paperwork which ultimately leads to a healthy productivity boost. Look at it this way, you invest in inefficient manual methods that require expensive supplies and surplus staff time — why not invest in a solution proven to optimize your AP department and put money back into your pocket.
- It Takes Too Long to Implement
Not all automation solutions are created equal, so make sure to choose carefully. While some solutions may take months to fully implement, others (like Esker’s) are able to be fully functional within a week. One way to fast-track implementation is by selecting a cloud-based solution, which offers rapid project go-live through a simplified IT infrastructure.
- There Are Heightened Security Risks
Although, at first glance, it may seem risky to let an automated system streamline your AP process, once you learn more about it you’ll discover how much more secure it truly is. With manual methods, you risk data entry errors, lost vendor invoices, duplicate payments and late penalties, among other things. But with the right automation tool, data is accurately extracted from invoices, all documents are securely archived with 24/7 access and protected by software that has earned SSAE 16 & ISAE 3402 compliance as well as HIPAA & HITECH Act compliance.
- You’ll Lose Process Control
You may believe that using an automation solution takes the control away from you, when in reality it is quite the opposite. Automation gives greater visibility to all users through an electronic workflow and customizable dashboards allowing authorized users to access invoices 24/7/365 and ensure that the proper procedures are taking place. Employees are held accountable at every point and invoices are never left unattended.
Albeit, an AP automation solution is no magic potion for creating a perfect process, but it’s one tool you should have in your belt to get there. Avoiding costly errors, quickening processing time, preventing duplicate payments, improving supplier and staff relationships are just some of the benefits the right solution can bring your company.
Check out Armtec’s story to see how they surpassed their expectations with a cloud-based AP automation solution.