If AP Automation Was a Tattoo!

A friend of mine gave me this idea – and without thinking I am running with it… I hope you enjoy!

In January of 2007, The Pew Research Center reported that 36% of 18-35 year olds have at least one tattoo. (Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1636218)  Also, 28% of the US population has a college degree (Source: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_47/b3960108.htm).  So, what does that mean?  Well… nothing really – I just get a good laugh when I quote those stats.

I thought it would be very entertaining to compare an AP Automation project to a tattoo… and, if you have done an AP Automation project – find out which one is yours and bring it up in a meeting next time.

There are 5 basic categories of tattoos:

Abstraction Tattoos and AP Automation
Mostly done in shades of black and classic gray, such tattoos commonly include tribal and Celtic style tattoos, Old English
lettering, or Chinese symbols. If your AP Automation was this tattoo you would be like most AP departments, having a front end capture with some type of indexing in addition to workflow and reporting that is integrated into your accounting or ERP system. Often  people will comment on how nice your Automation is and ask where you got it, but not too much more than that.

Naturalistic Tattoos and AP Automation
These tattoos involve minute detailing, shading and perspective, and are done in such a way that imparts as much realism as possible. As with the above, these AP Automations would include front end capture, workflow, reporting and integration.  However, there would be a few additional aspects that seem small on the surface, but make a big difference.  This would involve less indexing and data entry and more OCR or electronic technology. Once up and running, people will comment on the intricacy of the operation and may become somewhat intimidated by the scope and size of the project – this type of Automation takes a lot of work too…

Dedication Tattoos and AP Automation
Dedication tattoos involved the use of the sailor-based designs, like the heart and name banner, the anchor with a ship name, and the insignia of a military regiment. If these tattoos were AP Automation they would come off the back of a long time Director of AP who has left the company (or retired).  He or she loved the paper… and the new staff’s first move was to automate immediately after the doors shut from the going away party.

Simplification Tattoos and AP Automation
Simplification tattoos do not have limiting boundaries in terms of the design.  Almost any and every shape and size can be included in this type, as long as it is stylized by the tattoo maker. If this tattoo was AP Automation it would be like having a cousin that claims to know SharePoint like the back of his/her hand and creates a custom solution for you.  These are great when they work… but be aware that if something changes (style, systems, needs) you are stuck with an “artist’s touch”.

Complex Tattoos and AP Automation
Complex tattoos involve designs that are much more intricate than the other styles.  They consist of an amalgamation of various tattoos, making them much more impressive than other types of designs.  This AP Automation project/build would have started with a huge RFP that includes a lot of people in your company and a lot of service providers. Complexity in the software world is both a blessing and a curse.  The difference between the two has to do with the competence of the person “running the show”.  I have seem both sides of this and, just like a complex tattoo, if the creator knows what he/she is doing – there is nothing more beautiful!  If the creator doesn’t … well… you’d keep your shirt on as much as possible.

In the 8 Pitfalls I wrote a lot about finding out who you are… doing business soul-searching and goal setting.  As the book is getting more and more readers I get more feedback on it usefulness.  A comment I get more times than not is, “Thank you for helping me do my home work.” Out of the 8 Pitfalls, the first three (which encompass 50% of the entire book) are about looking within your company to set appropriate goals…

I guess another way of saying it is if you want a large tattoo on your face… don’t expect to get a job in Finance!

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

How about a children’s book? The Princess and the Paper – click here to buy

About The Author:

Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people who started AvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information

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