3 ways to select an AP automation solution with ease

Automating your AP department transforms it from a cost center into a profit center. But how do you do it?

Automation vendors will list a myriad of ways they make their solutions “easy.” But, you know, easier said than done.

Or is it? Maybe easier is the number one rule when it comes to AP automation.

3 things to look for

To focus on what matters most, finance and accounting leaders should prioritize the following three factors when evaluating AP automation solutions that are easy to use.content services and digital transformation

1. Built-in vs. custom integration

Integrating an AP automation solution with your ERP can accelerate the payables process by centralizing access to related AP documents, automating manual tasks, and enabling real-time data exchange with the ERP. But whether this functionality is built-in or requires custom development will significantly affect deployment timelines, cost and – ultimately – your ROI.

Seeking out AP solutions that offer built-in frameworks to connect to your ERP will simplify deployment and configuration, helping you to see results and ROI sooner than a custom-built solution.

2. User-friendly UIs

Ask any AP leader what the hardest part of implementing an AP automation solution is and they’ll tell you – change management.

Getting staff to adapt to a new system and process takes time and often, people can be a little resistant to change. The more the new process and solution adapts to the way staff already work, the easier and faster it will be for them to adapt.

Easy-to-use AP automation solutions will feature invoice workflows and exception processing screens tailored to your organization’s ERP. For example, using the same field labels and terminology for data entry like GL coding, matching required fields and calculation logic to the ERP. You can even display related fields, information, or buttons in the same areas of the screen as the ERP.

3. Direct data synchronization

Data errors (wrong PO, wrong invoice number, etc.) or missing data are the biggest challenges that can slow invoice processing. Organizations need to feel confident that the invoice data they’re working with throughout invoice processing matches their ERP records.

A robust AP automation solution will feature built-in, two-way data validation and exchange with ERPs to minimize exceptions and errors.

Simplicity

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Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer is a marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of enterprise content management (ECM) as a tool to automate paper-based processes and improve operations across accounting and finance, human resources, and contract management. Danielle joined Hyland after more than six years with a research and advisory firm devoted to helping senior executives manage their departments and teams more effectively. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

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