Accounts Payable – Ask The Expert Interview

By Optiform Blogger, August 15, 2018


Interview with Amy Knoebel, a 17 Year Accounts Payable Management Expert

Hi Amy! Tell us a little bit about you. Who are you? Why do you love working in Accounts Payable?

Amy Knoebel –  I have been an Accounts Payable Manager in various industries for over seventeen years.


I enjoy Accounts Payable for a variety of reasons:

  • It is an important department in any company
  • It is the last place to catch mistakes or issues
  • I get to work with many different people and departments (purchasing, accounts receivable, sales, other management staff, etc)
  • It is always changing
  • I get to be in a department that helps makes a difference for the company

As a leader in AP, I’m sure that you have seen a lot of changes since you started your career. What are some of the worst AP practices that you have seen in action or heard secondhand about:

  • Not getting W9’s and confirming new vendors during set up
  • Address books missing key information
  • 1099’s not being sent out
  • Paying off statements vs. invoices
  • Putting invoices in drawers and not processing them

Have you ever witnessed late fees being assessed due to late payments? Can you share detail about those?

Yes, I have seen late fees being added to invoices, accounts, etc. Normally most companies will not pay late fees. Very rarely do they get paid to vendors.

What have you seen as points of resistance or concerns from leadership, team members, or vendors before making the decision to automate and/or going live?

If you are not automated and want to be, there is a high cost to getting it set up. The company needs to evaluate the cost and efficiency to justify the change.

If they are already automated, is the process/software working the way it should?

What issues arise from the automation? IE: Are there exceptions in the queues that need worked? What if we pay the wrong vendor? How do we handle duplicate invoices coming through?

Can you describe some of the older, manual processes you’ve worked within AP?

Before automation, there is opening the mail, stamping it, coding it where necessary, getting the approvals, was it lost and need another copy, etc. Depending on the type of invoice, who needs to approve it, enters it, etc. it could take up to two to three days to be processed and ready to pay.

How does an automated AP process make a difference in this process?

Automation is more efficient when it comes to workflow. The invoice is scanned in, routed to person who approves electronically, gets coded and then sends it back to be processed and paid. This can be done in hours again, depending on approval levels, controls built in system, etc.

What would you tell someone considering making the transformation to an automated AP department in the near future? Tips to help with preparing and for best success…

  • Do your research
  • Get as much information as possible
  • Take your time and do it right
  • Think about everything as much as you can
  • Pick a reputable company (software side) that has a good implementation team that assists you
  • Make sure upper management are on board and support changes
  • Test it before go live
  • Implement what works best for your company

What have you seen happen since becoming an automated AP company?

Automation allows the department and company to focus on other items/issues. It takes certain issues out of the equation like missing/lost invoices, getting approvals before being paid out, turn around time quicker for processing, and less/no paper.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

I’ve worked in large and small companies and seen a lot. A paperless environment does have a lot of pro’s. If a company has the support, staff, finances and the volume to support it, it’s worth the transition to automate.


eBook: Case For Accounts Payable Automation – Amy Knoebel Interview

Thank you for this interview, Amy! We are really glad to hear from a thought leader like yourself.

If you are considering going through an Accounts Payable Digital Transformation, please reach out to our team. We can share additional information including software pricing, support offered, and a demo of the software to help you make a decision!

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