Nearly two decades into the new millennium, we believe we’re living in the future, and one thing should be obvious: digitized business practices have become the norm. Even where once paper and pen applications were considered sacred and untouchable, the digital revolution has taken over.

Don’t believe me? Consider two examples: real estate and courts. I’m not just talking about internet communication, either – that ship sailed long ago. I mean digitally transmitted real estate documents, complete with digital signatures. And remember all the fancy paper lawyers used to present to the courts, and which the court kept in cardboard files inside huge steel cabinets? That’s right: they’re getting filed online and stored digitally.

So why is it that many AP departments are lagging behind, putting up with old, outdated paper invoicing? More to the point… Why are you still lagging behind?

I’ll take a guess that it’s one of two reasons: 1) you fear it will be too costly in the short run, regardless of the future payout, or 2) the thought of making the change seems overwhelming.

It has to be one or the other. Maybe it’s both. There really is no other reason to use an invoicing system that involves using paper purchase orders, invoices, envelopes, checks and all the ancillary stuff. Not only is none of it required in the new millennium, it just doesn’t make economic sense.

Here’s why:

  • Cost: Paper invoices come with added costs per invoice for the paper itself, postage, and mailing back and forth. Electronic invoicing has no additional costs associated with it.
  • Time: Paper invoicing is time-consuming. From inputting data for every invoice that comes through the door to chasing down approvals to matching invoices with purchase orders, there are better ways you could be spending your time.
  • Labor: With electronic invoicing, you can spend more labor efforts focusing on things like departmental data analysis or ensuring regulation compliance.
  • Efficiency: Paying on time is hard enough. Every month it’s a paper chase, as you try to process the invoice and get approvals before the 30-day clock runs out. And if you’re late, now you have to pay penalties as well as deal with an irate vendor looking for payment. The ironic thing? Many of these same vendors would have discounted your bill if you had paid early.

Okay, I’ve dispelled your first fear: that it will cost too much. Truth is, it costs too much not to automate. And the initial investment is often recouped in a year or less.

That leaves just one other fear that may be the cause of your paralysis: the perceived hassle of switching from paper to automation. It doesn’t have to be a hassle. A leading AP automation provider will recognize that you need the switch-over to cause the least disruption possible and will be there for you every step of the way, available to help with your vendors’ questions as well. So start living in the future, and learn more about AP automation today.