Stories of Accounts Payable Automation
I like stories. I have heard that people when either reading or listening to a presentation in person or online like stories too. For some reason stories are more memorable. (So) Here I go with my first installment of story time of AP Automation.
I met a company about six years ago that was able to implement an AP Automation project in eleven days. I know that could be hard to believe, and this wasn’t a small company by any stretch. However, they were highly incentivized to implement so fast. They also choose a service provider that had three things that made the process so quick. They had (1) SaaS (I know – not a really good sentence) which means there was no software to install and manage. (2) The integration to the accounting was already in place, so there was no data migration or building needed. (3) Experience – the project manager the service provider put on the case had over seven years experience. The combination of software, integration, experience and the company being highly motivated made for a very quick implementation.
There are a few common things that I have experience over the last fifteen years of automating that make for a good story. Frist there is confusion in the beginning to choose a service provider. Most all AP Automation looks the same, so you have to go much deeper than the surface to find the right partner. Then there is joy in the decision. Then there is something other than joy when the work starts. That is followed by the painful reality of change. Followed by more work to go live, which creates a lot of questions and confusions, which dies off and is followed by a brand new process that people could hardly believe they lived without, which makes it all worth it.
Normally the disasters I run into comes from when a company didn’t do their AP Automaton service provider homework, and went with the lowest price or something their accounting system partner recommended. However the best disaster story I have comes from my days of implementation, when I didn’t have a lot of skills and even less support (working for a very small company – that I loved). The skill I wish I had at that time, that I have in abundance today is the ability to see the writing on the wall. At that time I didn’t so when my project lead on the client side called to tell me the project died I was shocked. Then when I asked why, I was shocked even more when she said that the CFO and the CEO had been arrested.
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