Organizations who wish to automate accounts payable usually implement an AP automation solution that is connected to the ERP system and potential other business applications in place. Today, there are cloud-based accounts payable software options on the market to suite companies of all sizes and industries.

Automation of accounts payable works differently depending on the type of supplier invoices that is handled. For indirect spend, or expense, invoices the accounts payable automation software will support automatic data capture, coding and distribution of the invoice to the appropriate approver within the organization. For direct spend where there is a purchase order involved, the accounts payable automation system will automatically match the invoice data to the purchase order and, if everything matches, directly send the invoice for payment without any human intervention what so ever. This is what is referred to as touchless invoice processing and the end goal of automation in accounts payable.