In this day with competing objective and corporate goals, it seem impossible to get a project like AP Automation in the queue. One of the big problems with Accounts Payable Automation is the projects that get company attention are fixing things, especially when it comes to information technology. The IT department always has needs that are attached to growth or bad tech decision. (So) When the company has to choose between paperless accounting or everybody having email… email wins.
I guess when you are notified about the email thing you can run into the office of your company’s leadership and stamp your feet and scream “why me… it isn’t fair!” (Or) You can take a look at using one or more of these three ways to get an AP Automation decision.
Way 1 – Improvement
If AP Automation is only as good as the people time and effort that it frees up, then what you do with that people, time and effort needs to be a direct improvement to your department and therefore your company. It’s selling the company on change and impact the change will have. This will get you out of the IT queue. The key, however, is what you do with the people, time and effort has to be good.
Way 2 – Compliance
When the paper is gone and the entire process is visible and recordable, then the entire process becomes more secure. For those of you in a bigger company, make the internal auditor, compliance or risk managers (even operations) your allies in this push. This makes the decision bigger than just accounting. There is a bonus here… this method get better buy-in and a smoother implementation.
Way 3 – Make a Profit (Personal Favorite)
When you automate accounting there are two areas you are able to generate income. The first place is in capturing vendor discounts. AP Automation will naturally speed up your approval process to allow for discounts. Take people from way number one and apply them as the discount police (there is a much better title for this I am sure). You will be surprised how much you are able to generate in discounts. The second place is to automate your payment process and apply your current payments to vendors credit card accounts using a virtual or ghost card. When you do that you will receive a rebate on that payment. I have seen these rebates as high as $30,000 per month. I have found that accounting professional aren’t too comfortable with this approach, but believe me the leadership of your company will love it.
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