When I first heard the word “GPUG” I thought of a small dog. Well, as it turns out, GPUG is not a dog. It is, instead, a group of people. GPUG stands for “Great Plains User Group”. Great Plains is an accounting system owned by Microsoft and is considered part of the MS Dynamics family. Each year GPUG holds an annual conference. This year I was asked to speak and do a book signing for my latest book, The Argument to Automate. Well, people showed up (phew) and we had a good session. There was a lot of participation, and everyone seemed to get something out of it. I didn’t have a helper in the room during my session, so I told the group not to worry about the filling out the evaluation forms, because I would fill them out for them. However, being that it was a room full of finance people, they didn’t let me get away with that. After the session a woman pulled me aside and said that she liked my topic (relief), but she then went on to say that I shouldn’t dismiss “soft cost savings” so much. In both books, and when I speak to groups, I spend a lot of time (and drama) on helping people determine their return on investment (ROI) for AP automation. I warn people that when you evaluate automation costs you have to be aware that there are two types of costs:
Soft Dollar Savings – Costs that are affected by automation, but not completely eliminated.
Hard Dollar Savings – Costs that are completely eliminated by automation.
I recommend that you should base your ROI on hard dollar savings, because they produce a more accurate number. My new friend said that her organization did an automation project with the full intention of not having any hard dollar savings, but to take a process and improve it a little. The, “a little” was enough to take the pressure off of one process, data entry. Since she devised and implemented the enhancement she was able to demonstrate her ROI. After our conversation I started thinking that maybe I had been wrong all this time (which is something that doesn’t happen very often) in not putting any soft dollar saving calculations in my cost per process evaluation. After all, every little bit can help, right? Then, I came to my senses and realized that I would have to rewrite two books. However, the conversation did get me to think about why hard dollar savings in an ROI are so important. It will give you an accurate benchmarked number that is black and white—a number that doesn’t move. Accounting and finance people like it when numbers don’t move.
Buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy
(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy
For more information go to www.costperinvoice.com