One of the most difficult problems to solve are the problems you don’t know you have. As an accounts payable automator since 2000, I have personally witnesses thousands of companies realize they had problems and didn’t even know. The purpose of AP Automation is to solve real life problems. When a company initially looks at automation they are interested in getting rid of the paper, speeding up the process, but are sometimes concerned with giving up too much control and loosing important information. If automation is done right the outcome with be greater control and more visibility to cash, however, those aren’t the problems that automation really solves. There are three main problems.
Problem 1 – Centralized Accounting
If you are an organization that has a corporate office where your accounting is processed, and you have detached operations then you have a problem that automation can solve. Take a property management company in Maryland as an example. A Dynamics GP users for years, they had one accounting location where all of the invoices went each day to be entered and paid. Before automation they had 5,000 housing units that sent invoices to the corporate office. The problem is the more spread out the operations and the bigger the number of locations the higher the expense to process plus the greater number of lost invoices. When you automate accounts payable you instantly eliminate the distance between locations, and the accounting staff knows where every expense is in the process.
Problem 2 – Growth
I met a small book publisher in Connecticut that had a problem that only the accounting department thought was a problems, the rest of the company was extremely excited about it. The leadership team had decided to double their company in six month through mergers and new business growth. You would think this would be good news to everyone, however the controller of the organization knew she had a problem on her hands. The problem was her volume was going to double too, and she wasn’t too excited about the prospect of hiring more people. That is where accounts payable automation came in. Automation will enable you to grow your company without adding staff. Automation never takes a sick day and won’t be a problem at a company holiday party. One of the main outcomes of automation is to free up time. Not just accounts payable automation, any automation is designed to create more time so you can grow and not kill your employees.
Problem 3 – Audits
I always like to tell companies that they don’t have problems, they just have paper and paper creates paper problems. Paper gets lost, it gets held on to and the worst is paper can be missed filed. A west coast nonprofit knew this problem all too well. Companies that are more subject to audits than others are nonprofits. At a moment’s notice they may have to produce a stack of invoices to back up a project or any other expense period a board of directors would like to analyze. With paper, that means to send someone to the filing room, lock them in until they produce the correct invoices. The big problem with paper filing is it is only as good and as accurate as the person or people doing it. That’s why there are always gaps and misfiled invoices because the process is subject to good old fashion human error. Not automation, and better than that automation will give you access to the invoice to moment it is sent from the vendor, not just the moment the invoice is paid. Back to the west coast nonprofit… now they login to a search section that gives them ability to create a search for exactly what they are looking for, and then downloads that information into one PDF file that can be printed, emailed and save to a disk or drive. Not only is it easy to get the back up for an audit but there is a full history of who did what, when, which makes discussion about expenses clear and accurate.
Dynamics GP and AP Automation
What makes Dynamics GP users unique is they have to do more with less and maintain an extremely high level of timeliness and accuracy. With spread out operations, growth and audits accounts payable automation makes your accountings and accounting processes not only easier to deal with, but automation will free your accounting group up from chasing people and paper down so they can do… well what you pay them to do.
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