Digital transformation has moved from front office/customer facing initiatives and is now tackling many manually intensive, back office systems like accounts payable. AP automation is now in the crosshairs of both finance and IT, and for good reason. Advancements in optical character recognition (OCR) and sophisticated software solutions like AP Express can process invoices more quickly and accurately, reducing costly errors, identifying fraud, and enabling companies to redeploy personnel to higher value projects.
When organizations elect to modernize their accounts payable processes, two options exist: either implement an AP automation solution or outsource accounts payable entirely. Although outsourcing AP operations sometimes looks attractive from a cost perspective, the costs are rarely lower in the long term due to the hidden, non-financial costs (lost time, decrease in supplier goodwill, etc.). Moreover, there is a very strong argument that AP automation can act as a springboard for ongoing process improvement.
Like AP automation, outsourcing accounts payable can lead to short term cost saving. However, the cost saving associated with outsourcing is one-time. AP automation delivers significant ongoing benefits to a business that generate an ROI far in excess of outsourcing. Done right, AP automation can indeed turn payables into profit.