“Automation” doesn’t necessarily equate with “automatic”. Yet, in this exciting new world created by the personal computing revolution, we tend to think that way. Our digitized data is supposed to be hands-off. Our machines, driven by software, are supposed to take care of everything, leaving us with nothing to do but make sure the power cord stays plugged in and the internet is up and running.

Fear not, good people. We are not in danger of being replaced by machines any time soon. Automation is a wonderful thing, and it’s the way forward for every Accounts Payable department, no matter how large or small. Yet, automation is still a tool – a useful one to be sure, but one that requires smart AP people to make it work effectively and efficiently.

When searching for AP automation, it’s best to look carefully at not just what it does, but how easy it is to use. Dynamic AP automation, like iPayables’ InvoiceWorks®, is designed to be user-friendly, flexible and incredibly cost-effective. Just as important, the right tool will save hands-on time dramatically, by streamlining many processes and cutting out steps that paper invoicing requires.

Still, the effectiveness of any automated system depends partly on the user. Like anything else, getting the most out of AP automation requires proper training and the observance of best practices to ensure that tasks get done timely and done right. The first and probably most obvious thing is to make sure all personnel understand the features of the system and how to use them most effectively. Then make sure those responsible for inputting data are well trained for efficient, error-free processing.

Second, see that key AP personnel are versed in how to stay on top of tasks and reminders – and that they do it religiously. Tasks assigned to specific personnel must not only be tracked and recorded for future action, they must be accessible to others in the department in case of unavailability of that specific employee.

When your company uses leading AP automation, it has the best tools available for efficient invoice processing. From demonstration to installation to future changes as your company grows, it’s important that you receive the consistent help you deserve.