The Most Difficult Question I Have Ever Had to Answer – #APAutomation

Over 200 blogs, 3 books and countless conversation over 15 year of Accounts Payable Automation, and you might think it is impossible for me to have “1” difficult question. It’s true there is one question that is the most difficult.

The Set Up

To build suspense and to create enough backup to the one question… I wanted to first write about the questions that would seem difficult, but in comparison aren’t. Questions that deal with

      • Technology
      • Integration
      • Workflow
      • Project Management
      • Timelines
      • Support

As someone how has worked in helpdesk, support, training, project management, consulting – for years I thought the topics and sub-topics to the above categories are the most difficult questions, but they are not.


I have found they aren’t as difficult because they have answers. I know that must read strange and I probably just tipped my hat (if I wore a hat) on what the most difficult questions is, but think about the topics. Lets take technology as an example. The technology either does something or it doesn’t do something. With AP Automation either the technology integrates with Dynamics or it doesn’t integrate with Dynamics. You automation service provider can implement your project within 90 days or they can’t. It is true in some situations that if you’re dealing with an inexperienced service provider or one that flat-out (very southern) lies you may not get a good answer, but as far as questions are concerned they have answer.

The Answer

The most difficult question that I have ever had to answer in Accounts Payable Automation is… Why… Why Automate. I know there are a lot of highly skilled Automation sales reps that read these articles… which now I have lost their respects (sorry). Sure I could list all of the features and benefits of automation as well as explain the positive change and process improvement, but it really doesn’t answer the why. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this. The answer to why is a specific answer to the company that is going after the answer. There aren’t two companies that have the same employee base, processes, goals and desires.


If you ask me why you should automate, I am going to answer the question. I will need data and I will need to talk with all people involved, but I can get you an answer. What makes this “Why Automate” even more difficult is the question rarely comes up. That’s right, most of the time is spent on the technology or the solution or the lost train of solution providers that are trying as hard as they can to convenes you they are the one. To add to that when asked why are you (the client) interested in automation the answers are normally high level… something along the lines of “we want to get smarter, faster, more scalable”. Those answer can lead to the “Why” but aren’t the full answer.

I hope this had made you think… it has me.

Want to know more? Buy My Books!

To buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy

(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy

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