When AP Automation Isn’t Good Enough

What? AP Automation is always good enough? Well, I don’t like to bring this topic up but AP Automation is not always a fit.

I Have Been Thinking

That’s right… scary. My second book, which should have been my first book, called The Argument to Automate, has been what I like to call a commercial “OK”, which by the way I hate. That’s where the thinking part comes in, because it’s been a commercial OK, I don’t think I have been communicating the message properly. The point of the book is to answer two questions: (1) Can my company benefit from automation? (2) If yes… what will be the impact of automation?

Number 1

That’s the point of today’s article… not everyone can benefit from Accounts Payable Automation. In my almost 15 years of working with companies, I have successfully helped companies automate with less than 100 invoices per month and with as many as  300,000 per month. That’s the first place that people look (volume) as an indicator of whether they are a good fit for AP Automation.

Look For This!

Once I drop the non-volume boom on people, they become very confused. I can understand because when you haven’t done anything like AP Automation before you are at a loss on what questions to ask or where to start. Below is a list of things to look for that will give you an indication that AP Automation is a good fit for you. (Note – they are in order of biggest impact.)

  1. Spread out operations – If you are an organization that has centralized accounting (meaning your accounting department is in a single location) and operating entities in other geographic areas you are a great candidate for AP Automation. There are a few key points to consider, one that the approval has to be done at the detached location and two that the AP entry is done at the central office. Also, the more location and the more spread out those locations are the bigger impact automation will have.
  2. Complex approval process – If your invoice approval process has a lot of contingencies, then you are a very good candidate for AP Automation. I see this a lot in construction, consulting and architectural firms. Contingencies like, waivers, releases, prior billing are all complexities that AP Automation will greatly improve, therefore you would be a great candidate for automation.
  3. Audits – Public companies, organization with boards like government agencies or religious organization have a need to call up invoices to prove projects and approvals are a good fit. Just think, if Accounts Payable Automation is done right, there will be no more paper and therefore no more filing cabinets.


The above three aren’t the only things to look for in your business, but the point there is that AP Automation solves problems and those solves create the need and impact. The bonus is, if you are a company that has all three of these items, the case for automation is even better!

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

How about a children’s book? The Princess and the Paper – click here to buy

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