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Overcoming the Challenges To Achieve Autonomous AP

The world we live in today is drastically different than what we were experiencing 3+ years ago. We’re all sick of hearing it, but COVID-19 truly changed our lives both personally and professionally.

Before 2020, many companies were hesitant to make the switch to completely remote work but throw a pandemic in the mix and businesses had no choice but to pivot.

Our homes became our offices and businesses struggled to digitize administration and maintaining process efficiencies. The accounts payable department was no exception as many companies were hindered from staying on top of the company finances.

After all, the bills still needed to be paid to keep the lights on and people couldn’t stop by the office to sign checks!

Those that succeeded had a secret weapon in their back pockets – automation.

Struggling to fully automate

While automated processes are the key to success, many companies continue to find it difficult to get the ball rolling on their automation journey.

In SSON’s Global State of AP Automation Survey 2021, they found that only 9% of businesses have fully automated their AP processes and 52% are partially automated.

Those AP teams that are partially automated recognize the value of automation and have started the process of digitizing paper documents and receipts, but they have yet to utilize digitization and AI in tandem for a seamless, autonomous process.

Isn’t autonomous the same as automation?

Not quite. Automated AP solutions can automatically organize invoice data and supplier documents, allowing employees to focus on other tasks. This can increase an organization’s efficiency, but the software is often confined by certain parameters and may still need human intervention.

Autonomous AP solutions, like Medius, have the added value of relying on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and optical character recognition (OCR).

With these technologies, the solution has the added capability of not only handling routine tasks, but continuously learning and adapting to become smarter with every invoice. It also does not require any human touchpoints and can catch errors and fraudulent trends early in the invoice process.

Why are only 9% of businesses fully automated?

We are in a better place than we were three years ago, as businesses continue to transition off paper, but many AP departments still rely on time consuming data-entry. This leads to a higher rate of errors including incomplete payments and incorrect data being inserted.

So, what’s preventing organizations from switching to autonomous AP solutions? SSON’s Autonomous Accounts: Driving End-to-End Workflows with AI states that there are six key challenges, and while we can’t help with hurdles such as lacking capital or resources, we can help you make a business case to overcome these challenges.

1 - Lack of internal resources to support projects

The great resignation is taking a toll on many businesses, and finance teams are no exception. In our Financial Census Report, we delve into employee churn and the fact that only 37% of financial decision makers would say they and their colleagues are satisfied with their role.

But don’t despair! Take our customer, Chadwell Supply, for instance. Before autonomous AP, they were handling invoices manually and spending an entire day searching for receipts for their PO’s. This was unsustainable and would have required them to triple their headcount – which wasn’t an option.

After implementing Medius AP Automation, they were able to maintain the volume with the team they had and go from 20% touchless to 89.4%, proving it is possible to support AP implementation with a small team.

2 – Lack of capital

We get it, budgets are tight and you are dreading requesting funding for an autonomous AP solution. Medius is transparent with our pricing structure because we know our solution provides a big impact at a small cost.

Check out our pricing page to view our available subscriptions or build a package that works for you!

3 – Concerns about managing the change 

Here at Medius, we have an award-winning, in-house customer success team. We work pro-actively with you sharing best practices and expertise to optimize your processes and maximize your return on investment.

Prefer to manage things yourself? Our customer success portal is chock full of user guides, technical documentations and release notes. We also offer our Life Hacks series which showcase features that will make your life easier.

4 – Competition among other projects internally

Standing out in a sea of project proposals is challenging, but if you stick to the information we’ve shared it should show the biggest reason to invest in autonomous AP is value.

  • Make the case that monotonous data entry tasks drain employees and lead to churn.
  • Explain how transforming your processes and targeting value-creating items such as fraud and risk can save money.
  • Most importantly, emphasize that AP teams can now focus on improving relationships with vendors and suppliers which can only lead to business success!

5 – Lack of support from IT for implementation

Autonomous AP does not require constant oversight from IT to implement. It is an easy plug and play solution!

Don’t believe us? See how Medius AP Automation can seamlessly integrate with your ERP of choice.

6 – Lack of compelling business case

Nothing is more compelling than saving your business money. We’ve already proven that automation frees up employee’s time for more value-driven tasks. Make your case and start your autonomous AP journey!


I’m inspired to become autonomous! How do I get started?

Medius can handle any invoice format, both paper and digital. Our invoice capturing software reads and records header and line item details automatically, improving your AP workflow by saving time and reducing human errors. We leverage the latest AI and machine learning technology to reduce errors, increase productivity, and forecast sales, so it gets smarter with every invoice. Since our solution is automated and user-friendly, it requires little training to get started.

Learn the 3 steps you need to know to implement autonomous AP in our white paper with SSON Autonomous Accounts: Driving End-to-End Workflows with AI.

Want to see our autonomous solution in action? Book a free demo. We’ll show you the ins and outs of invoice automation (no strings attached).

Autonomy allows for the right actions to happen no matter what.

AI/ML addresses the short comings of rule-based automation by creating autonomous engines for invoice management. Where automation dictates that a certain set of actions happen when the trigger event occurs, autonomous, through AI/ML, dictates that the right set of actions happen when triggered, even when the underlying details shift. It is a subtle but powerful difference. Consider how an autonomous system allows approvals to flow to the appropriate person even when certain aspects of the approval flow shift and change due to absence, job changes, project team movement, and so forth — all without human intervention. Powerful.

The Financial Professional Census

Explore four primary hurdles facing finance professionals today and learn how to overcome them in our research-backed Financial Professional Census report. 

Download the report

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If you're looking to streamline AP processes, automate invoice or payment processing, or curious about how accounts payable automation works, this is the guide for you.

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