Accounting Automation & Beyond

DocuPhase’s blog provides valuable insight into how your company can benefit from implementing automation & document management into existing processes.

New Year, New ERP Updates? Here's Why AP Automation Should be Part of the Conversation


It’s the beginning of 2024, and companies are looking ahead to decide which investments will empower their teams to meet their goals in the new year. 

For many, this will include changing, upgrading, or implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The new year offers an opportunity for businesses to evaluate whether their existing platform is still meeting the needs of their business. 

This is particularly true for Microsoft Dynamics users, or considering users, as the shift from Great Plains to Dynamics 365 Business Central continues to be rolled out. As more businesses continue to shift primarily to cloud services, it is essential for companies to determine what option will better service future needs. 

For those who will consider implementing or upgrading an ERP system in 2024, there are many factors to take into account. Things like cost (both time and money), features, and capabilities top the list for most decision makers. 

But it's also important for leaders to remember what an ERP is not designed to do. 

While an ERP system is an important tool for improving teams’ visibility and efficiency, it is not intended to serve as a standalone tool for your accounting back office.

Many of the most common processes for accounts payable (AP) teams aren’t designed to take place in an ERP system. That's why independent software vendors and value-added resellers who specialize in AP automation partner with ERP platforms to create a holistic solution for accounting process efficiency.

At face value, it may seem like upgrading two platforms at once is a huge undertaking; however, it's actually far more convenient and yields more immediate benefits when businesses tackle both in tandem.

Continue reading to uncover: 

Hidden Disadvantages of Upgrading your ERP without AP Automation 

While it may seem more cost-effective in the short term to upgrade only your ERP platform, there are some frequently overlooked long-term consequences of delaying the implementation of your AP automation solution. 

Delayed Investment Returns 

Companies who are actively looking for AP automation but decide to postpone the process until after their ERP system update add on another year’s worth of decision making, implementation and training before accounting teams are finally able to use the platform to its fullest potential. 

In the meantime, teams must manually code invoices, match POs, invoices, and goods receipts by hand, chase down invoice approvals, and key in general ledger (GL) updates. This stifles efficiency, which delays your ROI.

Duplicated Efforts 

Updating your company's tech stack is a complex process that begins with a lengthy period of evaluation. 

If you look into AP automation on its own after implementing ERP updates, your team will have to go through the same complicated evaluation process all over again. Key decision makers including C-suite executives will have to reconvene and reevaluate budgets, and IT teams who are already assessing system requirements will have to do so a second time. 

These teams are stretched thin as it is, so it's important to avoid unnecessary additional workload whenever possible. Evaluating tech stack integrations separately can be redundant and time-consuming, but by planning your AP automation and ERP software upgrades simultaneously, you save valuable time and resources.

Extended Adjustment Period for Staff 

Change management is another important factor to consider when determining your solution implementation timelines. 

Not only do the solutions you select need to address the pain points of your workforce, but they also need to be introduced in a way that supports your team’s adjustment. 

Adapting to change is particularly challenging when teams are asked to abandon established manual processes for new digital tools. This transition is further complicated when businesses introduce those tools one at a time. 

Introducing new ERP and AP automation tools at once supports an effective change management strategy. It shortens the learning curve by helping your teams understand how to use both solutions together, and it helps them leverage paired features like automatic invoice indexing and GL updates. 

When to Start Looking for an AP Automation Partner  

AP automation integrates into your ERP system, meaning that some configurations will be dependent on your ERP platform. But once you’ve decided on your direction, you should begin speaking with an AP automation consultant

The implementation of your AP automation solution will be much shorter than your ERP platform, so it’s ideal for businesses to plan the implementation to coincide with the design buildout and user acceptance testing (UAT) stages of your ERP implementation. This will allow you to coordinate both solutions to go live at the same time.

Features to Look for in Your AP Automation Solution 

We’ve discussed the benefits of upgrading your ERP and AP automation platforms at the same time; however, not all AP solutions are created equally. Here are some of the key features to identify when selecting the right software to pair with your new ERP system.


Think about why you are upgrading your ERP. Maybe your business’ workload has increased significantly in the past year, or maybe you’ve experienced organizational changes like stronger push for technology on the cloud. 

That’s why it’s in your business’ best interest to select a scalable AP automation solution that can grow to meet your evolving needs. 

DocuPhase is ERP agnostic with many pre-configured integrations, including Microsoft Dynamics. 

Beyond these partnerships, our open application programming interface (API) can be custom tailored to integrate seamlessly into any platform. Our solution is designed to suit your business needs both now, and in the future, so you can ensure your investment will stand the test of time. 

Point vs. Platform 

AP solutions range from highly targeted to very broad. With so many options on the market, it’s important to first understand which type of solution–point or platform–makes the most sense for your business.

Point solutions are designed to address a specific process or workflow and tend to be ready to use “out of the box.” While this might sound like the quickest way to upgrade your processes, they aren’t always the most comprehensive answer for your back-office automation goals. 

A platform solution, on the other hand, is an end-to-end solution for automating any of your accounting processes, whether simple or complex. They also offer you the flexibility to customize these configurations as your business grows over time. 

DocuPhase is a platform solution, which aims to overhaul tedious back-office processes from start to finish. Our solution is user friendly and highly configurable, making it suitable for all of your organization’s specific needs, workflows, and integrations. 

Customer Support 

A platform that leaves you on your own after implementation is a waste of your time and money. After all, if your accounts payable department can’t get help resolving their automation concerns, what’s the point of having the solution in the first place? 

At DocuPhase, we support our customers with a team of client support professionals who are ready and able to help you not only navigate your AP automation challenges, but also meet–and exceed–the goals and expectations of your business.

Planning Ahead 

Upgrading systems can be a daunting task, but you can make the most of your tech stack improvements by adding a dedicated AP automation solution to your ERP system enhancements. 

Ready to see how integrated AP automation software can make your ERP system work better for you and your customers? Check out this on-demand webinar, Driving AP Efficiency with Dynamics and DocuPhase



A leader in Enterprise Automation software, DocuPhase delivers document management, workflow automation, and capture tools designed to help your enterprise stay organized and meet evolving technology and business needs.

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