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6 min read

What is AP Automation and How Does it Work?

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AP Automation, also known as Procure-to-Pay (P2P), is a big buzzword right now, and you may find yourself thinking, “What’s the big deal” or “What is AP Automation exactly?” In this article, we’ll answer those questions and more.  

What is AP Automation? 

Broadly, AP Automation is when you automate normal AP tasks and workflows. Your usual, menial tasks can be accomplished without hassle (like approvals, writing out checks, printing checks, dealing with ACH payments, etc.). In practice, instead of you having to process ACH payments, credit card payments, checks, etc. separately, you can just click a button to do all of this automatically. 

  • Accounts Payable Process

Your current AP process

Do I need AP Automation? 

The short answer: Yes. 

The long answer: If you want to save money, improve accuracy, enhance your security, and have better relationships with vendors, you need AP Automation.

Did you know it costs an average of $4 - $20 to process a single physical check? AP automation eliminates that. Most organizations today pay their vendors by processing physical checks, which are difficult to track and expensive. With AP automation, checks are handled for you electronically.

When you automate your AP payments, you can speed up processing times, easily comply with regulatory requirements, and save some money. The procure-to-pay process can also improve accuracy and reduce manual errors.

Your vendors will be happier with you, too. They get their own vendor portal where they can track P2P payments. On the flip side, you get more insight into your accounts payable status. It's a win-win.

  • AP Automation Process
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The AP Automation process

Should I be worried about fraud? 

Public entities account for 25% of fraud cases and state and local governments consist of 52% of those cases. So, yes, you should be aware of fraud and its dangers. However, that’s where AP automation is a benefit. Most automation systems have built-in security to fight against cybercrime.  

"70% of organizations that have experienced  fraud say their check payments were the most subject to attacks.1"

Our AP Automation product, for example, makes it so that your organization does not have to store the suppliers' banking data. This way, no one can call you, posing as the supplier, and change bank information, tricking you into losing money. 

AP automation helps you detect and prevent fraudulent activities. It increases transparency, reduces manual errors and vulnerabilities, and provides an audit trail that helps in investigations if any fraud is suspected.

Customer Portal

What are we doing about it? 

We offer an entire product for AP Automation. Our VIP AP Automation is an easy-to-use payment tool designed to provide you with fast and secure payments and better vendor experiences.  

Physical costs are drastically reduced by moving from check payments to electronic payments. Our Vendor Payment Portal provides your vendors with the tools and transparency they need to track payments and self-serve. Vendors can log in at any time to view their payment history and answer payment questions. 

We know that the workforce is small and budgets are tight. AP Automation can free up time for your current employees while saving you a buck in the process. You can chat with our sales team to find out more specifics anytime. 


View our VIP AP Automation Webinar


1. 2019 AFP Payments Fraud and Survey Report