4 Key Questions to Ask When Considering AP Automation Software for Enterprise
If you’re exploring the market to find an accounts payable automation solution, you may have noticed that there are many different solutions to choose from. When examining these solutions, it’s important to keep in mind that AP departments look different across different sized businesses. When you are part of an enterprise business, it’s crucial to make sure you are looking for a solution that is capable of meeting your unique business needs. When considering AP automation software for enterprise businesses, there are 4 key questions you should ask.
#1: Can They Process a Large Number of Invoices Efficiently?
There are several AP automation software solutions that are specifically designed to handle the invoice volume and processes of small or medium sized businesses. Simple “one-size-fits-all” solutions are helpful for businesses that are processing a low number of invoices and don’t have a complex system currently in place. These solutions, however, aren’t equipped to handle thousands of invoices at a time and match the pace of large-scale, complex processes—and therefore aren’t quite useful for an enterprise business.
#2 Can They Match the Current Processes I Have in Place?
Many accounts payable automation solutions on the market claim that they implement an innovative and efficient automated workflow. For smaller and mostly-paper based businesses, it’s very helpful to implement AP automation software that will automate their processes in a new way, and force organization throughout their department. However, most enterprise businesses already employ some form of automation, and aren’t really looking to completely change their processes. For this reason, a solution that requires you to follow their workflow and business rules would end up becoming more of a hassle than a helpful solution. To keep control over AP processes, enterprise businesses should consider a solution that can accommodate their workflow and automate their existing processes. This kind of solution would bring process improvements and encourage best practices, without forcing the AP department into a completely new workflow.
#3 What Measures Do They Take Against Fraud?
There are several measures that the right AP automation software should have in place to guarantee security against AP fraud. A few of those measures include:
- PO Matching (2- and 3-way)
- Supplier Validation
- Flagging duplicate invoices
- Complex approval workflow
- More advanced payment options
- All invoice interactions recorded
These measures are essential to have in place to avoid mismatched invoices, paying a fraudulent supplier, paying the same invoice more than once, invoices not going through the correct approvers, and a lack of invoice history.
#4 Do I Have to Onboard Suppliers Myself?
Almost all enterprise-level accounts payable automation solutions offer an online portal for suppliers to submit invoices. Some solutions, however, don’t take any part in onboarding suppliers, and leave that responsibility to AP. Trying to onboard hundreds or thousands of suppliers isn’t an efficient use of AP’s time—as it can be long and arduous. A solution ideal for enterprises with hundreds of suppliers will take care of the onboarding process for their customers.
Additionally, an enterprise solution will provide alternate submission methods of invoices for suppliers who aren’t interested in using their portal. Enterprise-level solutions receive these invoices in AP’s stead, convert them into an electronic invoice, and upload them to the user portal for AP to review and approve. A solution that offers immediate supplier adoption with digitization options also guarantees that an accounts payable department can go paperless on day one.
Finding the Right Fit
It’s important for any business to know exactly what they’re looking for when considering AP automation software. They should keep in mind what their pains are, what is and isn’t working about their processes, and the volume of invoices that are handled regularly in their department. With so many solutions available, referring back to these four key questions can help you narrow down a solution that is best fit for your business and its AP processes.