The Accounts Payable process is slowly witnessing a dramatic change as the new technologies are revolutionizing manual-based invoice processing.
And now, at a time when automation is slowly seeping into the Accounts Payable process, many have difficulty in choosing the right solutions and partners.
In the past, the AP automation solutions were only provided for companies that dealt with heavy invoice flow. Since people were already trusting and relying on their manual AP process teams, the demand for automation was easier to curb. But now it has been hard to make ends meet with manual processes, so, there are many competitors stepped into the market with various solutions.
Why should you automate your AP process?
Automating your AP process can be beneficial for you in many ways. To begin with, automation seeks to reduce errors caused by manual data entry processes, save time, eliminate paperwork, and guarantee the accuracy of the data.
In simple, AP automation tries to address the following challenges faced in any industry in the present:
• The disruption in operations due to errors and slowness
• Increased risk of fraud
• Supplier inquiries regarding the status of invoices
• Overdue payments rising up due to mismanagement
• Lack of visibility and transparency in the cash flow and payments.
To learn more about AP automation and its potential benefits, read our blog on ‘What is Automation?’ here.
What are the technologies that power AP automation?
Before choosing a solution, it is important to know how those solutions are powered, so that you can choose the most compatible software that matches your system.
There are three main technologies that are important when it comes to automation:
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a cloud-based software used as an intermediary between two applications. We use API in our daily lives without actually even realizing it. For example, using social media, online payments, and placing online orders. Generally, APIs allow real-time connectivity, two-way communication, and accurate and timely data availability.
2. Machine learning
Machine learning processes can detect and analyze data, payments, and invoices. The technology is capable of identifying characters on invoices and extracting them into a database.
RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. RPA consists of set of programs that can instruct electronic circuits to perform certain tasks.
What do you need to know when choosing the right solution?
Integration and implementation
When you are choosing an AP automation solution, knowing how well it would be compatible with your ERP system is important. Some solutions are not pre-built to be easily integrated into the ERP system. If your choice of solution doesn’t integrate with your system, there is a higher chance of needing to build integrations using APIs, which could cost you a lot.
Therefore, knowing the integration ability of the AP automation solution can stop you wasting money on the wrong solution. Sometimes, some automation solutions integrate better with ERPs than their competitors in the market. Having knowledge of them can help you choose the most convenient solution.
Integration is not all, the AP automation solution must be easy to implement as well. If the implementation process is longer then it will be difficult for the updating process. You may have to consult your IT teams or tech consultants. It could cost you a lot of money. To avoid these issues, you need to consult your service provider and be informed about the solution’s features.
Many organizations face the risk of fraud. You need to consult your service provider and make sure that the AP automation solution of your choice provides fraud protection, payment limits, positive pay integration, hierarchical approvals, and segregation duties.
Why should you be conscious of preventing fraud is because it can affect the relationship between you and your service providers, customers, and stakeholders. Moreover, it can cost you a lot to prevent fraud and activate a security system to your database.
To mitigate potential fraud, you must inquire about the kinds of dashboards and reporting that could provide visibility into fraud prevention and the entire AP automation process.
The right solution depends on the right price. Usually, many AP automation software are based on monthly subscriptions or annual plans. It is crucial to compare prices and features between the automation solutions in the market to mitigate overpaying. Most of all, you must be aware that the AP automation solution is worthy of the price you are paying.
The cheapest plan might not be the best solution as it could only give you limited features and benefits. The last thing you want is not being able to process the target number of invoices, so if you are settling on the low-cost solution make sure to learn its capacity for processing invoices.
You also need to be aware of the AP automation service providers who offer payments to force the invoice approval process. These kinds of solutions can lock the operational process of the organization.
You can check the development costs and consider the value of the solution of your choice.
Why choose ELIPO?
ELIPO is a product of PEOL Technologies that helps you to automate your manual invoice process. ELIPO seeks to bridge the gap between you and your vendors by assisting you with invoice processing procedures while ensuring visibility, accuracy, productivity, and save your time.
ELIPO is your cost effective and hassle free AP automation solution you have been looking for!
Email us at [email protected] for more information.