Is Automation Obtainable? It Is in Your Accounts Payable Department

Is Automation Obtainable? It Is in Your Accounts Payable Department

Automation  |  Accounting and Finance

AP Automation is an obtainable goal in this century, in this decade, this year! In fact, companies like Pepsi are already doing it. How may you ask? If you can relate to this stat from recent AIIM research where 52% of respondents say their invoice processes take at least three days – some up to as many as 25 days – when using manual solutions for invoice data entry, validation, and approval using paper, you are a prime candidate. So, where to start?

One way to start is by examining what’s stopping you. Often, a top roadblock is acquiring senior management approval for this type of project. And our survey respondents say it’s because senior managers are overwhelmed by too many other projects (35%). So how to address this hurdle? How do you make the case to get AP automation prioritized?

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Walk a mile in another person’s shoes. No, not expecting you to hold hands and sing kumbaya (hey, it’s a lovely song, but not the point here). But I am suggesting you think like your senior execs and figure out how to help them see the positives to AP automation in a way they can benefit from it, how they can relate to it. And act on it. Soon.

A few tips on how to make THIS project THE project:

  • Align AP Automation with the quarterly or annual goals/KPIs of senior execs
  • WIIFM – What’s In It For Me. Thinking from the executive’s perspective, how can you make this implementation beneficial for senior execs directly?
  • Consider how easily you can integrate the AP systems with your existing content repositories and core systems
  • Document how quickly you expect to see positive results
  • Document how you could measure these positive results

What are these positive results? Things like: faster processing times, cost reductions (reducing late fees from missed payment deadlines), redirecting FTEs from manual work to other tasks in dept/org, reducing customer complaints, etc.

By helping your senior executives demonstrate success, profit, and organizational efficiency, you’ll have your project champion to help support, influence, and maintain your AP automation project.


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About Theresa M. Resek, CIP

Theresa has worked in Information Management for 20 years, has her MBA, CIP, and is well versed in ECM, ERM, and BPM. As a project and program director at AIIM, Theresa has held positions as editor, writer, host and producer. Working with the supplier community and subject matter experts, she has produced over 350 educational webinars for AIIM’s international audience.