Just like the CFO the Controller and/or Director of Accounts Payable has particular needs that can be satisfied by accounting automation. There are so many areas to talk about as it pertains to the middle managers of an accounting department. I have to write, however,“I feel your pain”.
Pain, that’s probably the best place to start. As I wrote about in the last article the middle group in an accounting department has the pain of the paper. They know what it is like to go to a filing cabinet and search through mounds of files only to give up and see the file on the floor of a colleague’s office. They know what it is like to search, call and email all day only to report back to the vendor on the status of an invoice to find out that the business unit manager answer their question a few hours ago. The middle group also knows what it is like to attempt to explain to a colleague how important it is to approve their invoices in a timely manner all the while feel like a glorified paper babysitter instead of professional. Pain…. lots of pain. However, everything I have just written is understood as “comes with the territory”.
Changing the territory is the biggest and best impact that automation can have on the Controller and/or Director of Accounts Payable. It is true, known benefits of accounting automation are no paper invoices, no paper checks, a faster approval process, more visibility , better tracking, greater reporting… however, my articles are dedicated to helping accounting profession understand the full value of automation… and one of the things that the middle managers of an accounting departments don’t realize as a benefit that is a benefit is employing a disinterested third-party.
Disinterested third-party? I have realized that one of the great benefits to employing software to track and report against processes is the software becomes the bad guy… stay with me here. In a paper accounting department the accounting pros become the police. In an automated accounting department the software becomes the police. Now, I hope that I am not over selling this idea… because I have never had a client invest in accounting automation because they wanted to get out of the personal policing business. I have had plenty of client conversations after automating to their delight that they don’t have to hand hold people any more.
I don’t want this article to lose the fact that automation can reduce cost, speed up the process and give back more time to the company that can be spent on more productive tasks, but for the Controller and/or Director of Accounts Payable there is a wonderful benefit that comes from, tracking, reporting, automatic emails, timers and notifications that is done by a disinterested third-party (automation software). It’s out of the box, but middle manager sure do love this benefit.
Tomorrow I am going to write about technical staff and automation… Stay tuned!
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