The best out-of-the-box AP automation solutions provide native integration with the underlying ERP system. AP automation solutions require tight integration with the ERP system. Master data located in the ERP system form the foundation of the AP automation experience. In a typical implementation, data from more than 20 separate tables must be mapped between the two systems, including the chart of accounts, sub-ledger, address book, supplier master, company master, business unit master, purchase order header and detail, PO receipts and user-defined codes. AP automation solution systems also push data back to the ERP system.
The process of defining, building, and testing a file-based integration is complicated, time consuming, and expensive. The better option is native integration. It communicates using web services and understands both the structure of the ERP system and the required data elements. Moreover, it is maintained by the AP automation vendor, eliminating the need for ongoing support from IT.