Since the pandemic began, AP teams have been under more pressure than ever to deliver efficiency. This is no easy task as their headcount remains stagnant and their workload rises. While many organizations have used AP automation to successfully do more with less, many others lag behind due to common misconceptions.  

Let’s debunk six common myths about AP automation so you start enjoying all the benefits technology offers. 

6 AP Automation Myths Debunked 

1. “AP Automation is Too Expensive.” 

Many organizations are discouraged by the upfront cost of AP automation, unaware of its enormous long-term benefits. AP automation is an investment that will save you money, improve your financial security, and improve your cash flow. Organizations that have already implemented AP automation cite huge savings in:  

  • Cost Per Invoice (It can cost as much as $11 on average to process a single invoice manually, but with AP automation, your cost per invoice can decrease to $1.25.) 
  • Early-Payment Discounts (Most businesses receive less than 21% of the offers available to them, and 12% don’t receive any at all.) 
  • Labor (Automated costs are just 33% of manual costs, largely thanks to the elimination of significant labor costs.) 
  • Eliminating Preventable Errors
  • Paperwork (Paper checks account for 65-80% of B2B payments for SMBs using manual operations, whereas automation allows checks to account for only 15-25% of payments.) 
  • Compliance 
  • Efficiency Gains (AP automation can drive 70-80% time savings for AP staff.) 

2. “We’d Lose Control Over Our Processes.” 

Organizations are often concerned that AP automation will remove the human element from AP, causing them to lose control over their processes. In reality, AP automation increases your control by streamlining your AP process and providing full visibility into your data. This solution is far from hands-off. Instead, it enables employees to do their jobs more effectively and trade tedious, manual tasks for more interesting, valuable work.  

From the start, you will determine how your solution is set up, so it will suit your organization’s unique needs. Once your solution is up and running, you’ll get to start accessing and understanding your data faster. This technology offers comprehensive insights into each process stage and cash flow. Additionally, it contains interactive reporting dashboards, which give you a real-time look into the status of invoice exceptions, approvals, and other critical AP KPIs. You can use all these insights to make smarter business decisions that maximize your department’s impact.  

3. “Implementing AP Automation Would Eliminate Jobs.” 

Many people believe AP automation will take jobs away from people.  

The good news: AP automation empowers employees to have more productive, happy work lives. Instead of manually processing invoices, your employees can engage in work that uses their critical thinking skills, creativity, and innovation. And all this extra productivity is sure to positively impact your organization’s bottom line. Your employees will also have more time to develop their skills through upskilling further.  

4. “AP Automation Isn’t Worth It for Our Company’s Size.” 

Another common misconception about AP automation is that it’s suited only for organizations of a certain size range. Smaller organizations may think their invoice volume is small enough that manual methods aren’t too big of a loss. Additionally, larger organizations may feel they have enough employees to keep up with the many invoices they process. But organizations of all sizes can benefit massively from the AP automation’s savings, visibility, error reduction, and efficiency gains.  

And as a highly scalable solution, AP automation also supports long-term growth. Not only will your team be able to churn out more work in less time, but you’ll be making smarter, data-driven decisions, and you’ll be able to handle more invoices. 

5. “AP Automation Won’t Integrate with Our Systems.” 

Many assume that AP automation won’t be able to integrate with their other solutions. While this may be true of point solutions, enterprise AP automation platforms like the AP Accelerator can integrate with a wide variety of solutions, including ERPs. Beyond seamlessly integrating, AP automation also maximizes your ERP through lower operational costs, increased visibility, higher accuracy, and faster invoice processing cycles. You can also customize your platform to fulfill your industry’s unique regulations, requirements, and equipment.  

6. “AP Automation Would Lower Our Security.” 

71% of organizations report being victims of payment fraud in 2021, with platform fraud being the cause for 40% of these organizations. It’s no wonder that organizations are weary of potential security issues related to AP automation. But there’s no need to worry, as AP automation significantly reduces security threats by helping you: 

  • Closely monitor which employees have access to invoice approval & release of payments. 
  • Eliminate human error, which is a top cause of data breaches. 
  • Go 100% paperless. 
  • Install password protection and encryption protocols. 
  • Improve internal controls & transparency. 
  • Track your AP process with greater visibility to detect potential issues sooner. 

AP automation also lets you build approval workflows requiring each invoice to pass through multiple approval parties before processing the payment. As a result, your chances of catching potentially fraudulent invoices before it’s too late are far greater.  

Clay Lacy Aviation’s OnBase & ABBYY FlexiCapture Success Story
Clay Lacy Aviation’s OnBase & ABBYY FlexiCapture Success Story

Want to know more about how Clay Lacy Aviation boosted its efficiency in its AP department and beyond using these two solutions? Get the full story in our new case study.

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Get Ready for the Future Now 

If these myths are still holding your organization back, your work life is much more challenging than it needs to be. AP automation enables you to work smarter, not harder. From tighter security and huge savings to greater visibility and productivity, AP automation will be a game-changer for your organization, regardless of size. Even if your talented AP team is “making it work” for now, the pressure to do more with less isn’t going anywhere. AP automation will boost your current performance and help you adapt to whatever the future may bring. 

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About Kara

As a Naviant Content Writer since 2019, Kara is passionate about helping organizations unleash the power of technology to solve their business challenges. In her weekly articles, Kara breaks down the latest research, trends, and tips in the digital transformation world, specializing in intelligent automation, the cloud, AP & HR automation, artificial intelligence, change management, and more. She is also a Copywriter for the American Marketing Association-Madison, where she contributes bimonthly articles that interview industry experts and highlight the latest marketing trends. When she’s not writing, Kara is working on her latest art project, scoping out new music, or out for a run.