Habits are an interesting thing. You have probably heard the saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, good things dogs don’t run accounts payable processes. If you are like me, it seem like every time you turn around something is changing. Don’t get me wrong, I think change is good, so where do habits come in?
The dictionary says habits are, “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary” I think the two key words that affect AP Automation in the definition is “behavior” and “involuntary”: Both of those words denote that the person may or may not know they are doing the habit, and when that is the situation it makes it very difficult for them to change. On occasions I have known that people get core principles confused with habits. Those are referred to as “bad” and there are six of them that you need to be aware of with Accounts Payable Automation.
Habit 1 – Minimize Change – This is a common habit that comes from years and years of managing money where change is a bad thing because change could potentially open up risk. Accounting and finance people are naturally good risk managers, but a successful outcome of AP Automation is change. Making a good process better takes change.
Habit 2 – Let IT Drive – IT meaning information technology. Depending on your service provider IT may play an important role, or they may play no role at all. If they are in the driver’s seat that will insure your company will get a good piece of software. Getting a good piece of software is only half the objects, changing the process for the better is the other half.
Habit 3 – Control! – Paper needed control, Accounts Payable Automation doesn’t, it has reporting (enough said).
Habit 4 – Tip Toe – When you enter into automation there may be a bad habit of starting slow and changing piece by piece over time. Although that will see like a nice safe plan it puts your organization into a position to managing two processes. One, automated and the other paper, so in essence you have doubled your people’s work… not good.
Habit 5 – Stay Close To Home – This bad habit is directly associated to doing what your accounting or ERP system recommends. Although this is a good place to start, you should venture outside to make sure you have the best for your company.
Habit 6 – That’s The Way We Are – The worst habit with AP Automation is to not be open to new practices because you have never done them before. Sure, not everything new is good, but not every you have done in the past has worked. Right?
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