9 Days and Paper Free in AP – 2 Things

I am going to call that my “broken english” title. I saw a 60 Minutes report about an old guy getting a bride from Russia. When she arrived in the US, she only knew a few words of english. To help, the creepy old guy who just got his internet ordered bride started talking to her in broken english… I don’t know why he did that.

9 Days Huh – Really?

That’s right nine-day. The company that did this, I had the privilege of doing the consulting on the deal. They were highly motivated and had a deadline set to automate their Accounts Payable process in two weeks. They had more than two weeks, but had other pressing things to do so they waited until the last-minute…. I guess that’s what made them “highly motivated”.

The Key – Those 2 Things

Moving the codes, setting up the technology and configuring the approval process wasn’t a problem. Like I wrote… they were highly motivated… It was the vendors that they were worried about. The secret? Well it wasn’t as much of a secret as you might think. Fortunately the service provider they choose gave the vendors plenty of options to send in invoices. That’s not one of the two things… here they are:

Thing 1 (not like the book) was not requiring the vendor to choose one method of sending or entering invoices over the other. It was the prerogative of the vendor the send the invoice in any method they could and if paper was their choice, there was a processing center that allow the client to not do any scanning. There was a bonus to this… where the vendor didn’t have to add or change anything on their invoice. The invoices the vendor naturally sent was enough to work with the system.

Thing 2 (still not like the book) was, there was no charge for the vendor to use the Accounts Payable Automation system. This is a big one. When you get into bed with a service provider that convinces you to charge the vendor to use their automated system, it put you directly in the position of being the “sales person” to the vendor. You have to convince the vendor to use and pay for part of the service. That is a difficult spot for any IT, Accounting or Finance person. I am not writing that IT, Accounting and Finance can’t sell. The point is, during an AP Automation implementation, there is a lot better things you can do with your time.

The Outcome (other than 9 days)

The outcome on the two things is a fast and efficient change on the vendor, and in my experience is one of the keys to a fast implementation process. I have found that the more you burden the vendor to change the longer your process to go from paper to automated.

Want to know more? Buy My Books!

To buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy

(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy

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