AP Automation Solutions: Choosing the Right Provider

AP technology and how-to choose the right provider for your organization

Today, many organizations are considering Accounts Payables solutions and the need for increased efficiency and accuracy in their AP processes. In the past, the AP technology solutions provided were only catered to organizations that processed heavy invoice volumes, which brought heftier price tags and made AP Automation unfeasible for many organizations.  

As more competitors have stepped into AP Automation, the array of available solution providers has expanded. Now, there are more diverse solutions available, from options that meet large companies’ needs, to less expensive solutions for companies looking to limit costs. Below, we’ll discuss potential AP solutions & their providers, and give insight into key considerations you should consider before choosing an AP automation solution. 

What types of AP Automation solutions are available?  

Companies now have both on-premise software and cloud options as well as tools that provide one or a combination of the following features: Optical Character Recognition (OCR), document management, full AP Automation, and Payment Management. Some examples of providers and their solutions are listed below:  

  • Docuware – This solution has OCR and Document Management with some AP automation capability. Docuware is a viable option for companies looking to limit AP Automation costs. It has both cloud and on-premise offerings. 
  • Bill.com – This solution has a strong focus on Payment Management with OCR, Document Management and AP Automation capabilities. Compared to the companies listed below, Bill.com is a relatively inexpensive option for companies looking to limit spend. It is a Cloud based AP automation solution only.  
  • Medius – This solution offers a strong focus in Document Management, AP Automation, and Payment Management, and has OCR and Payment Management capabilities. Medius offers a mid-range price solution, and is a Cloud based AP automation solution only. 
  • Canon – The Canon solution focuses on OCR, Document Management, and AP Automation. A Canon solution is more expensive than other providers but is a great solution for larger companies with a need for higher AP Automation volume. Canon provides Cloud and on-premise offerings. 
  • Hyland – This solution provides OCR, Document Management, and AP automation functions. This is another solution that is on the expensive side but is great for larger companies who will need more scale. Hyland offers services to Cloud and on-premise applications. 

Factors to consider when choosing an AP Automation solution 

Costs and process efficiency are top priorities when considering what AP Automation solution will be right for you, but there are also other important factors to consider before choosing your solution. These include: 

Integration Offerings 

Not all solutions may have pre-built solutions to integrate with your ERP system. If a potential solution doesn’t have efficient integration processes, there may be a need to build integrations using APIs. There’s also the possibility that there won’t be a way to integrate at all. 

Even if a solution provides integration ability, it’s important to recognize that some AP Automation solutions integrate better with some ERPs than others. When considering a solution, be sure to ask about integration efficiency and if your existing systems will work with the potential automation. 

Point-to-Point Solutions vs. End-to-End Processing 

Not all AP Automations solutions take the entire process in mind. Some solutions focus solely on OCR and Document Management capabilities while others focus only on payments. A point-to-point solution is limited to only automating one or two of the various AP steps, while an end-to-end solution will focus on all the entire automation process or a large part of it.  

When considering an AP solution, it’s important to understand your organization’s needs to decide which type is best for you but keeping as much of your business process in one solution typically leads to more efficient results. 

Implementation, Training and Support 

Implementation: If your applications are on-premise, you’ll face a longer implementation period as updates are more difficult. To alleviate this, many companies look to a Consultant or IT resource. For Cloud applications, implementations can be completed much sooner and may not require as many, if any additional resources depending on scope.  

Training and Support: Ensuring that effective training and support will be provided is a key consideration when choosing a provider. Make sure to be aware if you will have a point of contact after the deal closes and be clear about whether someone from the solution provider’s side will be aiding in training and documentation resources. If you’re integrating with an existing system, be sure to ask if additional resources are required. 

Fraud Prevention 

Fraud is a serious risk facing all organizations today. When considering a solution, ask the provider if the solution offers guaranteed fraud protection (internal and external), hierarchal approvals, positive pay integration, segregation of duties, and payment limits. To mitigate potential fraud, be sure to inquire on the types of dashboards and reporting that will provide visibility into fraud prevention and the process as a whole.  

The considerations discussed can help your organization narrow down potential AP Automation solutions. If you’ve narrowed down potential solutions and still need further evaluation, or just need assistance evaluating all available options, Elire is here to help.  

Our success history and experience with AP Automation assessment can help ensure that your organization is making the right decision. Reach out to [email protected] to speak with our experts about AP Automation Assessments, and read more about our AP Automation Services here.  

Be sure to check out the Strattam Capital Success Story to learn more about Elire’s experience and expertise in AP Automation, and how our strategic guidance has helped develop plans for product investment. 

  • Ms. Ericson serves as Elire's Marketing Intern, supporting Elire’s digital marketing efforts. Summer works to deliver engaging content to educate Elire’s audience.

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