Allaying 6 Common Accounts Payable Automation Myths
As companies look for ways to streamline their processes and become leaner and more productive, accounts payable is a common target for improvement. Historically a world of paper invoices and human error, accounts payable is ripe for automation software.
However, many companies are hesitant to automate their AP departments. Perhaps you’ve heard automation is too expensive, or that your company is too large/small to benefit, or that automating means losing direct control of your finances. Maybe you’ve heard horror stories about botched implementations that make you wary of risking the switch to automation.
But let’s take a closer look at these claims. While it’s true that AP automation requires an initial investment and time commitment for implementation, the long term benefits and ROI are enormous. Most of the things you’ve heard warning against accounts payable automation are based on myth instead of fact.
In this article, we’ll look at six common myths that persist about accounts payable automation. I think by the time you finish reading, you’ll see why these myths should give you no cause for concern.
Myth 1: Invoices will be completely hands-off
Automating your accounts payable process doesn’t eliminate the human element. Rather, automation is about providing your AP department with the tools that will help them be more productive and efficient. In other words, process automation is not about taking jobs away from real people. It’s about making their jobs easier.
Accounts payable automation does not inhibit your ability to track and modify invoice data—it improves it. Rather than relying on paper or email invoices, AP automation allows vendors and suppliers to input data electronically and automatically. The software then processes up to 90% of those invoices automatically. There will be times when errors occur and AP employees will need to make adjustments and corrections manually, as in the case of exceptions invoices.
Myth 2: Accounts Payable automation has more security risks
News stories about high profile hacks and data loss lead many business owners to distrust technology. But security has always been a top priority issue even in manual systems. In fact, the old systems of manual data entry and paper invoicing were much more prone to security risks and human error than today’s technology.
With automated AP software, password protection and encryption protocols provide several layers of security. You also get complete control over who has access to your system. Plus, digital files aren’t at risk of being lost and damaged the same way paper files are. No more worry about misplacing documents or having paper files destroyed by water or fire.
Myth 3: You’ll lose control over Accounts Payable processes
Some companies mistakenly believe that accounts payable automation will take over their entire process, resulting in a loss of control. The opposite is true. AP automation software gathers and streamlines information. It also makes the information very easy for you to access, supporting your efforts to compile, monitor, and analyze data. Adjustments can be made in real-time. Past invoices and documents are also easy to review and scrutinize.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of automated AP software is that it puts you in the driver’s seat. All the processing control and accounts payable data are at your fingertips so that you spend less time on mundane tasks and more time planning and strategizing.
Myth 4: Accounts Payable automation is too expensive
Doing everything manually is expensive, costing your company in time-consuming tasks and preventable errors. AP software is indeed an investment, but it’s an investment that pays for itself quickly and gives you immediate results. Across the board, our clients typically break even in 9-12 months and see additional reductions in processing cost over time.
There are many ways to implement accounts payable automation software, and with cloud-based solutions the costs are lower than ever. These software solutions eliminate maintenance costs for your team. The only thing you’re paying for is the invoices you process each month.
Myth 5: We’re too big/too small for Accounts Payable automation
Your company doesn’t have to fit a designated mold to benefit from AP automation. A larger organization needs automation to help process, organize, and analyze the large quantities of invoices that big companies process. A smaller company, with a limited staff, would benefit immensely if the employees who were tasked with mundane data entry could be assigned to more strategic positions.
The size of your company doesn’t dictate whether you need accounts payable automation software or not—your needs do. And many companies, big and small, simply cannot afford to continue with outdated accounts payable departments. Plus, AP software scales to your company’s needs. It’s a great choice if your company is growing or if the number of invoices you process each month fluctuates.
Myth 6: Implementation is too long and complex
There’s no doubt that making changes to an integral part of your company is a challenge. How do you continue with business while your old system is transferred over? And how do you guarantee that everything will go smoothly and you won’t be stuck with some half-finished software implementation?
Thankfully, an effective AP software provider will optimize the implementation process so the transition is smooth and painless. NextProcess has one of the highest successful implementation rates in the industry. Our support staff is always on hand to guide you through the implementation process. Plus, we continue to offer outstanding customer service after implementation to make sure your software keeps working exactly the way you need it to.
Smart and Effective Accounts Payable Solutions, Without the Hype
Once you cut through all the myths surrounding accounts payable automation, you see what a valuable addition it can be to your AP department. Automated software isn’t a magic bullet. However, it is a tool that will help you avoid costly errors while offering valuable insight into your business processes.
If you’re ready to take the next step toward bringing accounts payable automation to your company, we can help. Check out these blog posts for helpful information about how AP automation can help your company and what to expect when you automate:
- How Much Money Will Accounts Payable Automation Actually Save My Company In The Future?
- 10 Compelling Reasons To Automate Accounts Payable
You can also click here to contact us directly. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have. We can also set up a free demonstration so you can see first-hand exactly how our AP software works before you make a decision about automating.