7 Reasons You Are Not Getting ROI From AP Automation

ROI is a tricky thing. If you ask 100 people how to calculate a return on investment for AP Automation, 95 of them will say, what is AP Automation and the other five (accounting professionals) will give you five different answers.

I Talk A Lot

I do speak at conferences and internally in my company, and one of the things I talk a lot about, to not much fanfare, is return on investment. I guess it’s not sexy enough because it seem like the last thing people want to make a priority.


ROI doesn’t become a priority until the AP Automation project is going south and jobs and careers are at risk. Don’t let it get to that and use these seven things as insight to why you are not getting a ROI on your AP Automation project.

7 Things

  1. Not enough upfront study – People who are too quick to engage a AP Automation service providers won’t be able to formulate a useful ROI.
  2. No focus on change – IF AP Automation doesn’t fundamentally change how you process payables then the software will always be an expense.
  3. Not on solid ground – An ROI is rooted in concrete things, like headcount reduction or using people in better way. If your ROI has no root that is an action – it will fail.
  4. Too many cooks – If your AP Automation project servers too many business units the purpose will become watered down and no ROI will be available.
  5. Used people wrong – If you use AP Automation to move people from one task to another and the task that they are moved too is less important than what they were previously doing the ROI will fail.
  6. Wrong place – wrong time – If you select the wrong service provider for your project, there will always be work and tweaks to the point where you won’t be able to realize an ROI because you constantly have the hood up on the software.
  7. Too much software – Concentrating too much on the software and not enough on the end result will never get you an ROI.


All is not lost when it comes to ROI. It is never too late to change your course, but it may take a few difficult decisions like having the right people on the project of getting the right service provider.

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 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 started AvidXchange 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 us for more information.

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