This Is The Past, Present, and Future of AP Automation

  • This Is The Past, Present, and Future of AP Automation

    This Is The Past, Present, and Future of AP Automation

    In the modern business world, few innovations have had as much impact as process automation software. Looking at the past, present, and future of accounts payable automation demonstrates that very clearly. In just a few decades, we went from paper-based processing for everything to a digital world of electronic invoices and automation software.

    The future of AP automation is bright. And it’s going to continue becoming a more integral part of business operations. Plus, new advancements will continue making this vital part of business more and more useful and efficient.



    Accounts payable used to be an exclusively paper-based system. AP received all invoices on paper. These paper invoices had to be hand-delivered within the office and took up storage space in file cabinets. Then in the 1990s we started the transition to using business management software. Companies began re-engineering their processes, including AP, to be more efficient and centralized.

    Even in the ’90s, some companies were already starting to use web-based applications that allowed for online submission of invoices and EDI file uploads. Another decade later, in the 2000s, companies started integrating accounts payable into a new “shared services” business model that connected AP with other processes like procurement and disbursement. These innovations paved the way for AP automation as we know it today.


    In the present, process automation is transforming the business world. And that includes the accounts payable department. More and more companies switch to digital, automated AP systems every day. They’re going paperless to reduce processing and storage costs. They’re also realizing faster processing and increased control. Automation software lets the department lower error rates, meet deadlines, and generate accessible records.

    We’re still in something of a transition period, though. For many companies, accounts payable is still the department which consumes the most time and paper. But the solution to these problems is available now. You don’t have to wait for the future to arrive to start using accounts payable to take control of AP processing. Today’s AP software offers innovative data capture and indexing features, time-saving process automation, and everything else you need to take AP into the future.


    As we head into the future, accounts payable is going to become even more digital, profitable, and strategic thanks to automation. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will start to play a bigger role for tasks like data entry. More and more businesses will find that AP starts playing a visible, vital role to company success. Automation gives AP the tools needed to manage cash flow, maintain good vendor relationships, and streamline audit completion.

    If you’re ready to step into the future with Accounts Payable Automation, click here to schedule a demo and see how NextProcess can help. We offer state-of-the-art AP automation software that gives you all the incredible tools currently available. We’ll also keep you up-to-date with future AP innovations as well.