Manual Vs Automated Data Entry and Accounts Payable Process – Which is Better?


Data entry has been a key feature of businesses for a long time and is one that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As the industry has evolved, questions about whether manual vs automated data entry and accounts payable processes are better have occurred.

This article will explain what each of these processes mean, and highlight some of the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which is better for your business needs.

What is manual data entry (and accounts payable process)?

Much like its name would suggest, manual data entry is the process of manually entering data into a system without using any technology to help. A surprising amount of companies still use manual data entry, despite the development of quicker and more accurate practices.

What is automated data entry?

In contrast, automated data entry refers to software that’s designed to work automatically at inputting data onto a spreadsheet or into a file etc. There are many different programmes that offer an automated accounts payable process, like Xelix, and they’re most commonly used to protect against issues of inaccuracy.

Pros and cons of manual data entry


  • This type of data entry doesn’t require any systems or programs, making it an excellent choice for SMEs.
  • Manual data entry is a lot easier to understand and get started with for start-ups who are likely to otherwise be occupied with learning tons of new things already.
  • You have the ability to sort your records in whichever way makes most sense to you.


Pros and cons of automated data entry


  • Automated data entry is a lot quicker and more accurate than the manual data entry process is, so you can process and store files a lot quicker.
  • It’s easier and more efficient for documents to be stored and retrieved with automated data entry.
  • The automated system provides access to things like cloud storage and other data file retrieval facilities.


  • Automated machines are more productive than manual data entry is, but they’re not designed to complete the entire procedure, so you’ll need at least some level of manual data entry whether you use automated systems or not.
  • Accounts payable process and automated data entry systems functioned based on instructions they’re given to produce a certain output. If the input deviates even slightly, the machine will stop functioning.
  • Automation can be quite an expensive initial investment and smaller businesses may find that they can’t afford contract fees.

Final thoughts

There isn’t a universally accepted decision as to which process is better, but as a rule, automated data entry is a lot more productive than manual data entry is – especially when the automation system is comprehensive.

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