Being the parent of four (with a teenager) I was somewhat hesitant to write an article about ignoring anything, however as an Accounts Payable Automator there are some things you shouldn’t listen to.
- Hurry, time is running out. Don’t get hurried to make a decision… make a good one. Also, don’t delay when the decision is clear.
- Workflow and capture are separate. Later I am going to write about “best of breed”; the advice here is to find features that are integrated well.
- When purchasing, concentrate on features. The more I help people Automate AP the more the software that does the work becomes less and less important (sorry tech friends).
- Find a service provider that works in your industry. I know there is a comfort level in working with someone who knows your industry, but solving problems are more important than knowing the jargon.
- Keep everything in the accounting system. There is value in having one neck to ring, but accounting systems do accounting well, AP Automation is a process change and needs to be treated that way.
- Try to use one service provider. There is a case to be made for best of breed. My recommendation in best in breed, however, is to make sure everything integration, so you don’t have to manage multiple systems and have everything freed into the accounting system…. have it be the boss.
- Our company is low tech therefore we need something low tech. You need to find something that solves problems and frees up time, don’t listen to people who try to convince you to focus on the software.
- Cost is the most important factor. I have worked with people who concentrated so much on beating the service provider up on price that in the end they didn’t get what they need. Sometimes it pays to invest a little more.
- If you play hardball your vendors will comply. The vendor that I am writing about here are the ones sending in invoices. Some people will give you advice that they will do whatever you tell them if they want to get paid. To some extent that is true, but vendors are a great source of information about automation and you should include them in on your decision (not all of them) to automate AP.
- All you need to do is digitize your current process. This is advice that service providers with limited skill will give you because keeping your same process is the least amount of change. Don’t be afraid of change. Change is the catalyst for improvement.
- Go all in! Just ripping the band-aid off is bad advice. Create your plan to automate, then do a lot of testing and once you are ready for people to use it, better advice is to phase in AP Automation and “field test” your system.
- Get the fanciest scanner you can buy. This is good advice if you are scanning, however find a service provider that will do the scanning. You will find that they can scan faster and cheaper than you, and you get a bonus of losing the paper.
- Eliminate as many steps as possible. If you are a frequent reader I do preach that freed up time is the reason to automate, so it would seem that the more steps the better. That’s not 100% true…. free up as many steps as you can that aren’t critical business decision. I frequently get people who want to automate the coding. For the most part that can work, but have the automation software use a default and have your people verify the default… that keeps you in control of the decision.
- Everything will be just fine.. don’t worry. I think you should worry some. Changing Accounts Payable isn’t a task that should be taken lightly. If done correctly you should have less stress. The best advice here is to make sure you are partnering with a company (or companies) that know what they are doing.
- Whatever you do don’t listen to Chris Elmore (that’s me)! I promise I know what I am talking about… thanks for listening and reading!
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