Accounts Payable Automation and Home-Grown Accoutning

downloadToday’s post is about homemade accounting systems and Accounts Payable Automation. For the last week I have been writing about small, medium and large systems. I thought it would be good to give you my experience with homegrown systems.

The Key

Because a lot of my work on AP Automation has been with middle market companies, I have found when a company has created their own accounting system there is (generally) one person that conceived and gave birth to the system. Now, if that person is still with the company, AP Automation is possible. It is difficult if that person is not with the company.

Here is the Rub:

The rub is, if a company  has created their own accounting system, normally that company has a spirit of putting a lot of stock in having systems custom for their need. I wish I knew the number of times that an accounting staff has told me that their business or industry was way too unique… or different from any other accounting department. The truth is, they are almost all the same. Especially from the point of view of Accounts Payable (please don’t tell anyone I said that). Onto the rub, that if a company has a spirit of being so unique that they have created their own accounting system, they will, more than likely, think they will need to create their own AP Automation software.

DIY Automation

I counsel people who write their own AP Automation software, it is a great way of getting exactly what they want, but it’s also a great way to creating one of the biggest “time sucks” in their company. If you are a regular reader of my articles, I preach that AP Automation is only as good as the time that it frees up. Meaning that if you create something that takes a lot of people, time and effort, then you have done automation wrong. A positive outcome of automation is more time… a lot more time

Someone’s Nephew

The other thing I have observed about homegrown account systems and AP Automation systems is that the owner’s nephew is the one who had the big idea to do all the work and has created a permanent job for himself in the process… I hope you get a little laugh out of that, because all good humor comes from truth and pain. 🙂

You Should Buy My Books!

To 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

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