I have been on a stretch lately where I have been writing about the pain that paper brings to an account payable process. I would like to change that by writing about AP departments that are doing well and how you know you doing well. This is my own person crusade, but on occasions I get flak for writing about negative stuff. I don’t think I can really help it. When I wrote my first book in 2011 (The 8 Pitfalls) I got advice (unsolicited) for someone who said people won’t read a negative book. 6000 copies sold later, I think people will read a negative book. I don’t really like this quality about myself, but it seems that people want to know when they are changing something like Accounts Payable, where things can go wrong, so they can prepare for them.
Well… today is a new day. I am going to leave all of those negative things behind and only talk about positive stuff. It’s like the time a boy came home from school and his dad asked him how school went. The boy said, “Dad, not so good I think I failed a test.” The dad said, “Son, quit being so negative all the time… be positive.” The boy said, “Ok, dad, I am positive I failed that test.” <rimshot>
Sign You Are Doing Well – 5
- Bills Are paid On Time – I even hate putting this one on the list, but I had to. The reason I hate putting this on the list is because it is too obvious. I believe that people read my articles for the un-obvious stuff, but if your bills are getting paid on time, and you don’t have any (or few) late fees… you are doing well. This is also a good time for me to recommend that you go back and read my article on DPO and Cycle time.
- Getting Discounts – If your process is fast enough and approvals are getting done without a lot of re-classes, which is a sign that you’re doing well. You know I have a hypothesis (unproven theory – that is only a matter of time) that vendors give discounts because most AP processes are unable to act fast enough to capture those discounts. I believe that when more companies Automate AP the less discounts we are going to see.
- Low Question Count – This is a very difficult one to capture, but know how many vendor calls you get per day is a great benchmark to know how well you are doing. I am in the middle of a study that (at the moment) I am unable to draw any significant conclusions, but initial results say that a good number of call per day is 6 per every 1000 invoices. More to come on that.
- No Paper – If you are a consistent reader of my stuff you will know that having no paper in Accounts Payable is my thing. I don’t believe it’s a judgment call either to write that if you don’t have paper in AP then you are doing well. Paper comes with so many habits that lead to the not so good side. No Paper means you are doing really well.
- Big Raise – You getting more money, parking space, own washroom and a seat in the executive dining room… oh wait it’s not 1965 anymore and I’m not Don Draper, but if you are promoted because of your improving AP, you are doing well.
Well, that wasn’t so bad for me… but with this little dose of positivity I think I will go back to helping you stay out of the pit!
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