A Quick Guide To Hiring an AP Automation Service Provider

Having been around Accounts Payable Automation for almost fifteen years, the one thing I know about automation service provider’s software is they mostly look-alike.


The reason why? There are only so many ways a technology company can digitize an invoice, put that invoice into workflow, display it, code and approve it and present the invoice into an accounting system. Even though the approval process and the coding structure is complex, the basic flow and concept of Accounts Payable is very simple.

Why The Guide

The similarities in software creates the problem when it comes to looking for a service provider. In order to find the service provider right for you, you have to look well beyond the software. That is what this guide is for… helping you look at the things that really differentiate service providers.

Quick Guide

  1. New Time – I have written a lot about this, but the account of time that a service provider can free up will give you an indication about how impactful their service/software will be to your organization. This also opens up a lot of secretes that service providers don’t want you to know, because instead of freeing up time (some) will just shift time from one task to another.
  2. Services – The problem with evaluating software is it tends to limit the exposure of the service the “service” provider will “provide”. This is why I think the request for proposals (RFPs) are so bad in the AP Automation world because they never seem to expose the amount of services available. The new time study will help with this, but as you evaluate be very intentional about what service from which provider you will get. You will be surprised on the lack and amount from different providers.
  3. References – I wrote about this in my book, The Argument To Automate. Check both kinds of references! Frist check the reference the service provider gives you, which by the way will be good, and the reference that you find in your network. I am sure you know someone that knows someone that knows someone who uses the service provider you are evaluating. They will give you the inside scoop.
  4. Guarantees – Give more values to those companies that give guarantees. Guarantees in the software business are a key indication that the company both, (1) knows what it is doing, which means they have solid experience and (2)  is very confident that they will deliver. Companies are not in the habit of giving back money, which is what I mean by guarantees, that’s why when they are given there is a very low chance the guarantee will be used.

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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