7 Indications There is Pain in Change When Automating AP

In The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation, I use the analogy of a rollercoaster to explain what life is going to be like when a company changes from a paper Accounts Payable process to an automated Accounts Payable process.


I guess the rollercoaster idea is not the best way to explain change, because ultimately a rollercoaster is a “thrill ride”. I have personally done 89 (single-handed) AP Automation projects and worked on multiples of hundreds more, I wouldn’t describe it as a thrill ride. When using the rollercoaster analogy, I was hoping to explain a fact about change which there are some ups and downs.

You Are Down

There are 7 indicators to let you know that you are suffering the downside of change or better known as the pain.

  1. Saying the Same Things Multiple Times – Parents can identity with this indication that there is pain in change… but in the business world, if you have a situation where you are changing, like AP Automation, and the same people have the same questions in a short amount of time, that is an indication that you are having pain in change.
  2. Missed Meetings – If people don’t seem to be too interested in changing they will miss meetings. This is an indication where actions speak louder than words. Now, don’t get me wrong, if someone misses “a” meeting… once, you don’t have a problem.
  3. Low Participation – Similar to missing meetings, again – actions speak louder than words, and in this case when you are getting ready to change, the indicator here is there is not much interest in giving input or people being accessible.
  4. Un-achieved Targets – I almost wrote this one first, but thought it was too predictable, meaning that I write about this a lot. I write a lot about it, because it’s the primary thing that separates good change from terrible change… data. Data like, cost per invoice, ROI and new time, which is the time that is freed up by automation.
  5. Violence – If a fight breaks out over change to automate AP… that is an indication you have pain. 🙂
  6. Re-Engineer Project – Another indication that you have pain in change is if you are in the middle of a project to automate, and you have to or need to stop the project and start over or start a particular phase over… you have pain. Here is the thing, though, if you need to start… do it! There is nothing worst than an organization pretending there are no problems with the project when there are.
  7. No End In Sight – When the project goes on with no end in sight, not only is that an indication there is pain in change but that’s an indication that your life is not moving in the right direction.


Indicators are key signs of something. For the benefit of this article the seven are indications that things aren’t going well. If you have one or two or all of these the points my recommendation is not to sit and think about how bad everything is. These are keys or motivators to change for the better.

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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