Before You Automate AP – Think About Your Accounting System – 5 things

I don’t know why this has been true with my experience, but I normally don’t run into anyone that likes their accounting system. Very sorry about that for those of you that sell accounting systems. There always seems to be this love/hate relationship with accounting systems. True there are enthusiast out there that love a certain system, but even those people have a list of things they would add or change.

Here To Stay

Like it or not, accounting systems are here to stay and we all should be very thankful of that because the alternative was a lot worse. I took my first (real) accounting course in 1988, and believe me if we had to go back to paper ledgers the business world would greatly suffer. Because they are here to stay and because Accounts Payable Automation has a big impact on accounting processes, there are five things you should know about your accounting system before you automate.

5 Things

Thing 1 – It is always a very good idea to find a service provider (that’s a company that providers Accounts Payable Automation services) that is integrated with your accounting system. Now, this is not a must have, but it’s a good thing.

Thing 2 – Similar to thing 1, this thing is if the service provider that has passed all of your tests hasn’t integrated with your accounting system you need to evaluate how they intend to pass data. Be very wary of service providers that will violate your service agreement with your accounting system, or put you in a position that stops you from updating your accounting system.

Thing 3 – Make sure the accounting system is the system of record. I have written a few articles on this, so click on the link that I provided in the last sentence for more information. To give you a bottom line on the accounting system as the system of record; your Accounts Payable Automation system should never compete with your accounting system. To put it in a positive way the automation system and the accounting system need to have separate goals that work together.

Thing 4 – When information is exchanged with your accounting system, make sure that the accounting system’s permission and securities checks the data before it updates the system. This is how you can insure the accounting system is the system of record because it will check each transaction, and if the automation system is trying to update something it should not (an example is if the accounting period is closed) then the transaction is stopped.

Thing 5 – The last thing you should know about your accounting system before you automate is the AP Automation system should take all information it needs to do its job without you having to do an update to that system. Don’t put yourself in a position that you have to update and maintain two systems. Keep in mind that the point behind automation is to free up time.


Accounts Payable Automation is still somewhat of a new idea because of that accounting systems are still trying to figure out where they play. I do believe that in the future accounting systems will take more of an active role in AP Automation, but until then protect yourself from a lot of additional needless work.

Want to know more? Buy My Books!

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

The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy

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