The Top 5 Accounts Payable Automation Myths

Let’s be real—Accounts Payable has a bad reputation. 

Financial executives consistently rank it as the single most time-consuming function in finance. Yet, the one thing that can save the day—AP automation—is consistently cast aside for other, “more important” areas of the business. 

It’s a paradox—if AP is considered finances’ most time-consuming function, then why aren’t we leaning into solutions that will alleviate the pain?

For today’s finance teams, that hesitation is borne from myth:

  • AP automation is expensive
  • AP automation is difficult to manage
  • AP automation won’t improve business operations

It’s time to dispel these misconceptions once and for all—here are the top five Accounts Payable automation myths and the three truths behind them.

1. It Takes Too Long to Implement

Every new technology takes a while to implement—the right Accounts Payable automation tools won’t take longer than any other necessary solution. It will always be a process to get a new tool up and running, but the back-end benefits and time savings will be astronomical for future operations. 

Plus, most solutions offer a designated Customer Success advocate that will guide your team through the implementation, ensuring that everything is running smoothly and with little disruption to your business.

2. It’s Too Expensive

Sure, Accounts Payable automation requires an initial platform cost, like any software solution. But it can provide your company with significant long-term ROI. 

In today’s digital world, manual accounting methods may jeopardize your operations—human error can cost companies thousands of dollars. According to one study, 28% of professionals say that employees have inputted incorrect data into their computer systems.

There are other cost savings, too—companies that use a cloud-based Accounts Payable platform only paid $5.13 for each processed invoice, compared to $10.55 per invoice.

3. Suppliers Won’t Use It

Enterprises have used automation tools for years, and electronic invoices are becoming the standard in many industries. There’s no reason why suppliers will be reluctant to accept automated invoices for Accounts Payable. 

Research shows that suppliers can actually benefit from automated tools. One study suggests that invoice processing costs from automated tools are 81% lower than other methods, while invoice processing cycle times are 73% faster. 

4. It Won’t Make a Difference

If you prefer to send out paper invoices—go ahead. But don’t expect your suppliers to be happy.

Automation tools streamline the entire Accounts Payable process. These programs speed up invoice approval times, prevent duplicate payments, improve compliance, and eliminate the need for manual data entry.

5. Getting Buy-In Is Impossible

Automation across all industries is on the rise, and experts predict this trend will continue. One study even suggests that accountancy is the No. 1 job most at risk of automation in the next 20 years

As a result, enterprises that use automation tools are often more likely to secure investment from outside backers.

So, what exactly is the truth?

Forget about the misconceptions above, and focus on these three truths:

1. You Need Accounts Payable Automation to Scale Your Business

As your business grows in size, you can no longer rely on old methods for Accounts Payable. Automation tools facilitate multi-entity, multi-FX, high-volume mass payments, and international payments. 

2. Automation Streamlines More Than Just Invoices

Automation for Accounts Payable isn’t just for invoicing—technology solutions streamline onboarding, tax, and other financial processes in your organization. 

3. Automation Provides Detailed Insights into Your Financials

The best automation tools for Accounts Payable provide valuable insights into complex data. As a result, you can track your spending, identify financial problems before they occur, mitigate risk, and improve reconciliation. 

Face it; no one likes Accounts Payable—it’s got a bad reputation. But when you incorporate automation into your business, you can let the latest technology do all the grunt work for you.