Oddly enough when I first started to help company get rid of paper invoices in 2000 I did a few things that seems completely ridiculous today.
The first ridiculous things I did was approach the operation groups and try to sell them on the idea of approval efficiency. It worked ok because at that time all you had to do was show people automated workflow and they were completely sold on the idea (as long as they were an early adopter). The other thing was there was no mention of accounts payable anywhere in my speech. To sum it up, I didn’t work with accounting and I had no idea of account payable.
It seems that today, I only work with accounting and accounts payable and I call what I do Accounts Payable Automation. In the last fourteen years who I work with and what I call it has completely flipped. I wonder what is going to happen in the next fourteen years.
Because AP Automation is such an accounting department thing and it is technology, I have found that accounting and IT are the only two that seem to be interested in AP Automation. That means that 80% of the rest of the company doesn’t seem to have a need for it. The reason for that… They have no idea why. To change the perception of AP Automation as being an accounting and IT thing, they need to be taught the benefits of automation within their daily work lives. You may get a few converts if you explain the accounting department benefits, but is important to explain the benefits from the perspective of the rest of the company.
A Few Ideas
- Quick Answers
- Full Audit Trials
- No More Internal Arguments (about invoices that is…)
- Less Time On The Task
It’s difficult for me to list all the outside of accounting benefits, so you will need to do your own homework. Start by asking each department or a few people in each department why and how they would change Accounts Payable. That will give you good insight to the types of problems they are having. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the slow approvers or the people who seem to be the problem month in and month out. As a bonus, if there is any way to motivate and get them excited about the benefits you might be surprised how fast they are willing to change.
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