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The Advantages of Standalone (Best of breed) vs Integrated AP Automation Solutions

Accounting department professionals recognize the advantages of standalone (best of breed) automation software vs. integrated AP automation solutions to save time, and simplify routine tasks.

When it comes to accounting department decisions, choosing efficient AP automation software is at the top of the list. Cloud solutions are now the new standard for business support solutions, including accounts payable. AP automation solutions have become increasingly sophisticated, accessible, and customizable. However, the AP team recognizes there is no “one size fits all” solution. Accounting professionals are discovering the advantages of standalone, or best of breed, solutions versus integrated AP automation solutions. 

The Collaborative Cloud

Cloud solutions provide a myriad of benefits. In a fast-paced business climate, they are quick and easy to deploy. Instead of waiting months, a standardized cloud solution can go live in just weeks. Fortunately, the days of long IT projects and complicated automation software are over. The best solution is always available to the well-researched AP and accounting department. AP automation solutions in the cloud provide new features and product upgrades to all customers at the same time. 

Finally, the cloud encourages collaboration. Ask questions and make suggestions for new features within the tool. Communicate with developers in real-time. AP professionals can provide and request meaningful information anytime and anywhere. Plus, aggregated community benchmark data helps AP pros compare their metrics with industry peers. All of this is where the concept of customized, or best of breed, AP automation solutions start. Personalized solutions perform beyond the limitations of standard integrated solutions. 

Building a Dream Team

Beyond the collaborative cloud, everyone on the internal team can access crucial AP data in real-time, from any location in the world. People work together wherever they are, even if they are at a meeting out of the state or country. In a constantly evolving world, business leaders are expected to make quick decisions. Advances in AP automation solutions create exciting new opportunities to do this and get meaningful and timely insights into an organization’s finances. Plus, team members can work remotely, minimizing the impact of interruptions such as hazardous weather conditions, corporate travel, and vacations.

Many companies are tempted to choose AP automation solutions that support several different business functions. Often these broad solutions are not designed to tackle the unique challenges that go with each function. Most businesses that adopted these IT solutions in the past found it was a painful process to learn and implement them. Beyond hiring a stellar AP team, the C-suite can select their own AP automation solution “dream team” with best-of-breed solutions for each department function. 

The Benefits of Standalone AP Solutions

Integrated AP solutions seem to be a quick and easy fix. But when something seems too good to be true, it often is. Instead of trying to fit into the parameters of an integrated solution, the accounting department can create a cloud solution that does exactly what they need. As a result, the financial team will save time and reduce the need to agonize over tedious manual tasks. Routine work will be completed quickly, enabling the team to focus on more strategic and profitable projects. 

Standardization of cloud solutions has made best-of-breed AP solutions extremely easy to implement. Companies customize their AP automation solutions to fit the needs of accounts payable, ERP, procurement, T&E management, spend analysis, and more. Streamlined processes ensure work is quickly and accurately completed. Open invoice reporting ensures bills are paid on-time or ahead of time to take advantage of vendor discounts. The C-suite has updated financial data accessible in real-time, regardless of the time or day or where they are working. Best-of-breed solutions also make data simple to understand since reports and dashboards are customized to the organization’s unique procedures and policies. 

As cloud solutions become the preferred AP automation solution, companies are realizing the benefits of stepping “out of the box” and into specific solutions that meet critical needs. Best-of-breed AP automation solutions save time, simplify routine tasks, and give AP staff more time to focus on meaningful projects. 

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