I am very fortunate to have many conversations per week with companies that are either struggling with AP automation or are in the beginning stages of automating their AP process. In these conversations it is typical for me to ask, “How are you doing? What do you think? Any questions?” I wrote an earlier blog about – unanswered questions .
This idea took on a different meaning when, at the end of an hour-long conversation, I asked the three people on the line what they thought. The CFO of the company said…. “Well, it is kinda like eating a 76 ounce steak in one hour.” That answer put me at a loss for words, which doesn’t happen often. I could only laugh because it was such an appropriate statement, made at the perfect time. Everything that company knows, as far as processing Accounts Payable is concerned, had just been turned upside down within 50 minutes. This is a very common situation that creates a range of interesting emotions… that’s right! I am writing about emotions when it comes to accountants. They range from “This is great – this well help – this is what we need – to – this seems like a lot of work – I don’t know if I am ready for additional responsibilities – I don’t know if the company is ready for this change….” It is a lot like eating 76 ounce steak…. there is a great deal of digestion that needs to go on.
It the 8 Pitfalls book I wrote about “best practices”. My basic thought in writing on best practices is that best practices for one company are not necessarily best practices for another company. A company really has to do a lot of internal “soul-searching” before they approach a service provider… The companies I work with that are more successful than others have an internal drive to change their organization for the better and a true commitment to going from a paper to an automated AP process.
In the book there is a questionnaire that will help you know your “AP Health”. AP Health is a measurement of how you are doing now and what immediate and/or long-term steps you must make to improve you AP process over time. The key here is “over time”. It is somewhat like jumping out of a car (don’t try this at home). If the car is going 60 mph, the likelihood of you moving your legs at 60 mph as you jump out of the car is impossible. However, if the car is going 2 mph you probably would be able to get out of the car without wiping out.
There is another questionnaire that will evaluate your ability to change. Proper attention given to these two pieces, Health and Change, will help you to eat a 76 ounce steak over a longer period of time. Dividing the big bites into smaller, more easily digested bites by more people… oh, and I would suggest some A1 Sauce too – that’s not a symbolic term… I just think A1 is good.
To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy.
For more information go to www.newwayap.com