The benefits of accounts payable (AP) automation are well understood by most organizations. Many of our past blog posts can help you understand and communicate the value of automation to your organization. Several people have told us they understand the value of automation, but they would appreciate some guidance on what they should look for in a solution. Here are our top 3 components to a killer AP automation solution:

1.  Get a complete solution – one that gets rid of all the paper – Don’t get stuck with a solution that covers only a portion of your invoice stream. Opt for a solution that delivers 100 percent electronic data. We have worked with clients that installed Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or supplier networks and still had as much as 50 percent of their invoices coming to them on paper! A 2014 PayStream Advisors white paper found that roughly seven out of 10 organizations were either settling for less than 75 percent electronic invoice receipt last year or weren't pursuing electronic invoices at all. That’s way too many. If you have already installed one or all of these partial solutions, think about supplementing your automation with a digital mailroom like DataServ’s to get the rest. For those of you who have not started your AP automation project yet, be sure to start with a complete solution.

2. Automate Purchase Orders (PO) – Many clients realize even greater savings and benefits by extending automation further upstream in the purchase to pay cycle. Connecting PO Requisition automation to your invoice processing improves expense forecasting, eliminates manual workarounds, and provides greater control and insight into your spending patterns. This automation capability also sets the stage for further invoice processing cost savings. Your goal should be to get PO sourced invoices to 50 percent or higher.

3.  Build “touchless” invoice processing – By automating the matching process of PO’s, invoices, and receipts – you can eliminate further manual review and coding of invoices by your accounting department or other staff. DataServ’s AutoVouch™ accomplishes this goal by matching the documents from your PO process with invoices and receipt data. This data is then validated using multiple tiers of verification, all tailored to your needs. We refer to this process as a "pre ERP" two or three-way match, with the matching data then flowing automatically into your ERP system and scheduled for payment. This is all accomplished without any human touch. Freeing your organization of these additional review and coding steps speeds the process and reduces errors and manual labor.

If you have any questions on how you can achieve these goals, feel free to email us at

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