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What is Accounts Payable Automation?

Posted by Rory Jordan

12th September, 2023

12 min read

What is Accounts Payable Automation? Accounts Payable is key to your company’s financial health.

Accounts Payable (AP) is crucial to your organisation’s cash flow and an important indicator of its overall financial health.

The efficiency of your accounts payable process affects your company’s financial position, credit rating and your relationships with suppliers so it’s vital to ensure that it’s running smoothly. Due to the manual nature of traditional AP Accounts Payable processes, it is prone to risks like human error and fraud.

What is Accounts Payable Automation?

Accounts Payable Automation (APA) minimises human intervention and helps to eliminate error-prone tasks from your accounts payable function by streamlining and automating your accounts payable processes, providing better transparency and control over critical financial data.

Manual Invoice Processing Journey

The traditional manual invoice processing journey involves many steps. Once the invoice is received by the accounts department it must be:

  • Matched to the PO and receipts
  • Recorded in the accounts system
  • Coded for reference
  • Approved for payment by the appropriate employee
  • Stored for tax purposes

A good APA system can do all of this and more, eliminating manual data entry, reducing the risk of human error or fraud, streamlining the approvals workflow and making the entire process run more smoothly and more efficiently. Add to this the advanced capabilities for analysis and reporting and you have a very powerful tool on your hands.

APA System Invoice Processing Journey

With an APA system in place, the journey is much faster and smoother. Paper invoices are scanned into the system, while emailed invoices are automatically pulled out of your inbox. The system will:

  • Auto Import the invoice from your inbox into the system (paper invoices can be scanned to PDF for import)
  • Capture/read key data from the invoice (like PO number, invoice date, supplier code and amount.)
  • Validate the invoice by cross-checking it with other documents (like Purchase Orders, receipts or supplier records)
  • Match the invoice to the PO in your system, highlighting any anomalies that arise so they can be corrected before it is sent for approval.
  • Route the invoice for approval according to the organisation’s pre-defined rules (e.g. only certain people are authorised to approve invoices over a specific amount) and send it to nominated approvers.
  • Send notifications when payment is made
  • Store the invoice for future reference (for tax purposes, audits etc.)
  • Auto-Reconcile your payments by highlighting any invoices missing from the supplier statement and auto-sending a request for these to the supplier.

All this in a fraction of the time the manual process took and without your accounts payable team having to lift a finger!

Wondering what kind of Accounts Payable tasks can be automated?

Pretty much any you can think of. Here is a list of some of the main tasks that can be automated with an APA system:

Data Entry

APA systems can extract invoices from inboxes and quickly capture key information. This saves your AP team a huge amount of time on the tedious task of having to manually enter these details and frees them up to focus on more important tasks.


Invoices are automatically filed and indexed in line with your requirements, which makes it easier to search for and analyse the figures. This helps organisations to keep track of things like expenses and revenue and stay on top of their finances.

Data Validation

The extracted data is validated and verified for accuracy against existing records/ transactional data in your ERP/accounts system or your own predefined criteria.


Invoices and receipts are matched to detect duplicate bills or payments and prevent double payments. Flagging and correcting errors at an earlier stage of the process speeds things up and avoids overpayments

Approval Process

No more chasing people for approval – by automating the approval process you can significantly reduce the time it takes to manually review each invoice before approving it for payment. Invoices are automatically routed to the relevant people for approval, along with supporting documentation, like receipts, and signatures are collected electronically. This reduces the risk of bottlenecks, as there is complete oversight on what stage each invoice is at.

Payment Processing

Approved invoices are automatically posted to your ERP/accounts system for processing.

Tracking & Reporting

Automating the AP Process provides real-time visibility into your accounts payable data, enabling you to track payments and generate reports on spending so you can track performance, identify trends and optimise processes. This gives you an accurate picture of the financial status of the organisation at any given time and enables you to make financial decisions with confidence.

Is Accounts Payable Automation the solution your business has been waiting for?

Does your accounts payable team waste endless hours on manual data entry? Do you find it hard to get invoices approved and paid on time? Do you want to avoid costly mistakes and overpayments? Do you need better visibility on your finances? Accounts Payable Automation software will deliver all this and more.

At Enterprise Imaging Systems (EIS) we’ve been providing our clients with leading document management and accounts payable automation solutions designed save them time, money and a whole lot of hassle for over 20 years. If you’d like to find out more about what our accounts payable automation software can do for your business, talk to one of our experts today.