Defining the problem
It was Aristotle that said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” And while the individual parts may be strong on their own, it is true that when taken in its entirety AP automation is in fact “greater”.
The problem we currently face is in how we define AP automation. You see while-according to a recent survey–60% of industry experts define AP automation as the streamlining of the full end-to-end process there still remains 40% of folks who will define it as a portion of that process, whether it be invoice capture or payment processing.
And in continuing to carry these varied definitions these folks are doing you a disservice. Because now, instead of searching for AP automation and finding what you are looking for, you are inundated with a plethora of other services flying the banner of AP automation, when in fact they are a point solution.
Let me just take a moment and say this article, in no way is intended to belittle point solutions. Because for many folks the need to have a point solution focused at an area of your AP process is exactly what you need.
Your current AP process
Your manual AP process as it stands today takes you from receiving an invoice all the way through to when you cut, print, sign, and send that check (or electronic payment). Sure, when someone asks you about how you input your invoice details you may get specific about that portion of your AP process but one would be hard pressed to define your invoice capture as your entire AP process.
Automating Accounts Payable
So it stands to reason then that when you begin to have the conversation of automating your entire AP process we are talking about the full end-to-end AP process from invoice capture and coding through processing your payments.
Of course, there are inherent benefits to adopting end-to-end AP automation which you can read about in another blog post where we take a look at point solutions vs. end-to-end solutions a bit more in depth.
In the end
At the end of the day the right solution is out there for you and you will find it. Let’s all just make sure we’re calling it what it is.