5 Questions Your AP Provider Should Be Able To Answer
When you’re looking for a software provider to automate your AP system, you want to make sure you’re getting the best fit for your company. With that goal in mind, there are several questions that you’ll want the providers you’re looking at to be able to answer. We’ll cover five in this post and five more in a follow-up post.
1) How Are Incoming Documents Processed?
Most AP systems scan paper invoices before processing them and accept electronic invoices directly. But not all data capture technologies are created equal. Some systems need you to print-out electronic invoices and then scan the paper. Some need you to set up custom templates before the scanning software will recognize different types of invoices.
You need image capture technology you can rely on for accuracy as well as speed and ease of use. For example, NextProcess’ proprietary data capture technology ensures over 99% accuracy on every invoice (paper and digital). It will also accept multiple methods of receipt, including email and EDI, to keep things moving quickly.
2) Is It Ready To Use Immediately?
You need to know how quickly you’ll be using your new AP automation solution after purchasing. The most useful solution will have standard, yet flexible, processes already in place so you can start using it right after initial set-up. You don’t want a system that makes you build it from the ground up.
Your AP provider should be able to tell you how easy the system is to set up and use. They should also offer help through the set-up process (something NextProcess is happy to do) and have reliable customer service to answer any questions.
3) Can I Make It Fit My Company?
Once you know the AP system will work right after you purchase it, you need to find out how much flexibility there is. Programs with standard processes are easy to use quickly, but can you customize those processes to fit your business process? Or will you have to bend your company’s AP system to fit the system you just bought?
There will be parts of your current process you want to carry over. For example, general ledger coding for non-PO invoices is something no two businesses do exactly the same way. The transition will be easier if you can keep processes like this consistent. You’ll also want to ask how easy it is to configure the system to enforce your company’s policies.
4) Does It Work With My ERP System?
When looking at automation software for the AP department, you’ll want to see how well they’d work with the ERP system you’re already using. For example, you don’t want to select an AP software system that’s less secure than your ERPs. It should also be able to receive information from your ERP system and work with it to leverage information about vendors, purchase orders, etc.
AP automation systems vary in how well they integrate with ERPs. NextProcess is one that’s specifically designed to seamlessly work with a wide range of existing systems, including many ERPs. Some of the systems our software works well with are SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Netsuite, Epicor, and Intuit Quickbooks.
5) How Much Does It Cost?
Pricing for AP systems can get a little tricky. Typically, you’ll either pay a fixed fee per month to use the software or pay by the number of invoices processed. Sometimes, companies will also sneak in other charges such as a set-up fee or user licensing fees.
We base the pricing for NextProcess AP software on the number of documents processed. The final price depends on what your company uses each month. In addition, we promise no hidden fees. Set-up is simple and inexpensive and we never charge user licenses. You can have as many employees using the software as you want without paying any additional fees.