The Accounts Payable Automation Landscape

Accounts Payable Automation

A Continuum of Business Process Optimization Solutions

When it comes to advancing the technical capabilities of your organization’s AP department, exploring Accounts Payable automation as a solution to increase efficiency and cost-savings for your company should be your first step. With automating the repetitive, time-consuming, and tedious tasks, you’ll see a number of benefits across your organization.

Below, we’ll go into detail regarding some of the specific advantages an AP Automation solution has to offer, and provide an overview of the continuum AP Automation solutions fall under with a specific focus on the scalability of automation offers.

By undergoing an AP Automation implementation, you’ll set your organization up for success by reducing costs for high-volume tasks such as keying invoices into the system, as well as improving data quality and speeding up turnaround timelines. Typically, manual processing of an invoice takes between five and fifteen minutes to complete and aren’t immune to the occasional human error.

Automation alleviates this time-consuming task from employees’ list responsibilities, freeing up more FTE hours for strategic, value-add work. By speeding up processing time, an automated solution can also allow organizations to achieve early payment discounts from vendors and gain a sometimes substantial amount of savings back.

At its most basic level, the AP automation continuum starts with utilizing e-invoicing capabilities that reduce processing time, as well making other changes such as using purchase orders or creating work queues. Generally, the wider the use of purchase orders in your AP department, the easier and more worthwhile it will be to further automate.

Moving along the AP Automation continuum, you’ll start to see features such as robotic process automation (RPA) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) come into play. These can significantly reduce the amount of manual work traditionally required in AP processing.

To leverage OCR, it’s often believed that you’ll need vendors to send electronic invoices in a specific format, but this isn’t the case. With a smart AP automation solution, you’re able to capture the information off PDF documents or automatically digitize and process paper statements regardless of the format.

It’s worth noting that automating your AP processing can and should be seen as an opportunity to assess your workflow and other existing business processes and procedures, particularly when evaluating which signature authorities are required for each approval process.

As far as products and automation software solutions in the market today, organizations looking for a solution will find robust automation capabilities with both KTech Products and Canon Digital Imaging Solutions. KTech uses a diverse array of technology solutions of ORC bots and robotic process automation bots that leverage cutting-edge technology to create a proven automation solution that integrates across all major ERP platforms.

Canon has a built a solution that incorporates sophisticated ORC that fully integrates into many on premise ERP platforms. Both solutions leverage machine learning to achieve rates of automation that can exceed 90%.

As you undergo your process automation and digital transformation journey, there will always be questions and considerations that come up along the way. If you’re thinking about undergoing your own AP Automation transformation, Elire is here to help. Reach out to [email protected] to set up a time to speak with our experts about undergoing an AP Automation Assessment.

Read more about our AP Automation Services here, and also be sure and check out the webinar recording for “Improving AP Business Processes to Make Them More Efficient” which we presented as a part of the 2021 Elire Strategy Summit. Dive into an in-depth learning experience centered around transforming your AP invoice processing and we’ll also offer tips for building a business case based upon ROI. View the session recording here.


  • Maddie Caron

    Ms. Caron serves as Elire's Marketing Specialist, specializing in content writing and digital media communications. Maddie works to deliver relevant industry updates and technical blog posts to educate and engage Elire's audience.

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