Ahh the good old, golden, accounts payable days. They were amazing weren’t they?
The summers were always brilliantly sunny, the winters had snow at the proper time and invoices were barely a concern back in the… good ol’ accounts payable days.
Of course, this is not true, or fair. But the reality is that times have changed drastically over the course of the last 20 to 30 years, and yet the biggest changes are (probably) yet to come.
Technology is advancing at a faster pace now than it has done in any other peacetime era. It seems that there is barely a week that goes past when we don’t hear about the latest technological or medicinal break through.
The cloud? Old hat now, we are already onto hybrid systems provided as-a-service.
Blockchain? How many types of crypto currency have you already heard of? And then again, how many articles considering whether blockchain technology can benefit this process or that problem?
AI? Well, Facebook already turned off one of the AI projects because the two AI’s started talking to each other in a language nobody else could understand.
Robotics? They can climb stairs, play games (and win), or be stunt doubles in theme parks!
But what about the good old Accounts Payable days? Where have they gone?
I would suggest that maybe, just maybe, we are actually entering the best days ever for Accounts Payable teams.
Never has technology in this sector been as advanced as it is now, offering greater flexibility, understanding, business benefit and potential job satisfaction.
No longer do you have to rely on an unreliable 3rd party to make sure your invoices are actually received (or sent). This can be done completely electronically with virtually zero associated cost in comparison.
With solutions offering throughput rates for invoices of 99% or more, the volume of exceptions that need handling is as low as can be expected.
Solutions offering flexibility to control your own approval processes, tracking, tracing and monitoring every interaction. Result? Reduced time and cost when you need to update your processes and perfect visibility for audit purposes.
Tight integration with other solutions already in play, further reducing the risks to your team of duplicate payments and all the headaches that brings.
Ability to spot fraudulent documents the moment that they are received, and not after they have been paid. Losing your company money all the way through the process (recovery auditors aren’t cheap!).
What? You aren’t making use of this technology?
Well, why not? What is holding your company back?
Do you want to go the way of Toys R Us, Blockbuster etc.?
Or, does your organisation dream of being the next Tesla, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet?
Technology poses a threat, true, but so does not embracing technology and making it work for you.
Starting in the back office is a fantastic way of not only massively reducing operating costs and drastically improving profit margins.
But starting in an area where so many employees are employees allows an organisation to fundamentally change the way that they think about technology and embrace these solutions to create ever more collaborative and imaginative teams.