All About AP Automation Pt. 2: Life in the Slow Lane

Common AP problems —and why manual processing makes them a thousand time worse

In the first article of the AP Automation series (read here) we spoke about what AP Automation is exactly, and why some are so hesitant to buy in. Now, we talk about why you need it in your company right now

Imagine you’re driving down the freeway, and cars are zipping past you at breakneck speed. You’ve got an important appointment to make. At the rate you’re going, you’re never going to make it. You’re starting to get really, really anxious.

Then you look down and see…a horse’s back end.

Holy cow! You’re driving a horse and buggy! Not only is it slow, but it’s also dangerous. Not to mention uncomfortable. Chances are…you’re not going to make it.

Then you wake the heck up.

Okay. A nightmare like that sounds pretty ridiculous. But that’s basically you vs. your competition if you’re still doing your accounts payable manually in today’s increasingly automated environment.

To bring the analogy into the real world, let’s start with one simple question.

The answer is likely to embarrass you if you’re an AP manager. And if you’re an AP manager’s boss, it’s probably going to make you a little warm under the collar.

Here goes: How much does it cost you to process an invoice? Just one invoice?

According to the Institute of Financial Operations, more than 30 percent of AP managers don’t know the answer. But why does that matter?

Because the answer is extremely important for your business’s bottom line. According to Bottomline Technologies, processing a single invoice can cost between around five bucks for best in class vs. nearly $40 for the laggards—meaning you and your horse and buggy if you aren’t automated. In fact, according to the Aberdeen Group, non-automated AP is going to cost you about 83 percent more than using a modern system. That’s right—a whopping 83 percent.

And it’s not just the cost. If you’re still manual, you’re going to be clopping along in the slow lane if and when any of the following not-uncommon problems hit you.

Here’s a short list, and a quick explanation of how you can solve all your AP problems through automation:

  • The check is in the mail.