If You Know Accounts Payable You Don’t Know AP Automation – What?

Oh no… I have not been looking forward to writing this article. However, it’s one of those things that I believe needs to be addressed. The common perception, rightfully so, is if you are an accounting or accounts payable professional, then you know AP Automation, or you at least have a preconceived notion of what Accounts Payable Automation should be.

Two Different Things

I feel like I should say that I am sorry to write (or say) that accounting professionals consistently miss the mark when it comes to AP Automation. However, the point of this article is not to somehow “shame” accounting professional, but to give a perspective that helps the profession vet and have better conversation with AP Automation service providers.

In Your Company

When I help a company go from paper to automated, I typically interact with the Controller or CFO. Later down the line an IT person is introduced and maybe a project manager or business analyst. Just to give you perspective on the premise of this article, or to prove my point, the proof comes in the form of the questions that each party ask. (Not showing off) I have gotten to the point that the questions these groups ask have become very predictable.


Controller – How do you code an invoice and what do you do with the invoices once electronic?

Project Manager – How many resources and what amount of time is needed?

Other Accounting Pros – Will I have a job?

CFO – How much is all of this going to cost?

The Problem

Those are typically the question. Rarely do I find a company that ask the right questions, so I have concluded that AP Automation is more automation than AP. The down side is we put our AP and finance people in a position to spearhead these project.

In Your Shoes

If you find yourself in this position, do yourself a favor an ask automation questions like:

  • How much time can I free up?
  • What do I do with the people and time that are going to be freed up by automation?
  • How can I improve my company by using automation?

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

About The Author:

Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people that startedAvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact usfor more information.

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