Even after a few conversations with only a handful of accounts payable managers across the UK, it is clear that whilst most managers want to start automating AP, they have come up against many barriers in the past which have soured the dream.
Due to new technology and modern processes, many barriers of the past can now be swiftly mounted and overcome.
What follows is the 3 most common blow backs AP managers have experienced, and how to overcome them.
Lack of IT Resource
Thanks to cloud technology, new AP Automation solutions can be obtained with minimal IT resource- it will need some however, so don’t forget to let IT know you intend to add to your tech repertoire, or you might just find it won’t work!
If your organisation is worried about the on-going need for support, updates, and other tasks usually left for IT, worry no more. A cloud hosted solution can be kept up to date by the provider as part of your contract. You also release the responsibility of making sure the servers are running since that is now the job of the cloud service provider.
Lack of Budget
Once again, direct your praise towards cloud technology, allowing solutions to be cheaper than ever before.
No need for on-site implementation drastically reduces the cost of automation solutions. Not only that but the fact that the cloud service provider (Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS etc) works with so many companies to host software means they are able to stretch the costs to a more digestible amount. Bear in mind that since this is a cost saved by the IT department (they can reduce their number of servers, etc) that IT could cover the hosting costs out of their savings created by your choice of solution.
One other way to combat a lack of budget, is to dig deep and discover what your Return on Investment would be from a solution. Perhaps by considering how many duplicate invoices your team has paid by mistake, how many suppliers would consider early payment discounts, and how much time would be saved in an audit by having an easily searchable database of all your invoices.
Current Processes Working Well Enough
As I mentioned in a previous article entitled “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… or should we?” this is an unhealthy attitude.
Since keeping things going the way they always have may appear to save time on project meetings and costs, this is severely damaging in the long term. According to ITESOFT’s whitepaper “Transforming supplier invoice processing into a competitive advantage” a company processing 30,000 invoices per year could see over £200,000 in savings through automation, when compared to a manual process.
In the long run, this mindset will cause increased time taken to perform processes, mistakes made by humans along the processes, reduced office space from file storage, a negative impact on the environment due to use of paper & postage, and a waste of departmental budget on staff members performing mundane and un-beneficial tasks causing high turnover of staff and further increased staffing costs.
Last but not least, the introduction of a new generation, cloud based, solution could open doors for staff to work remotely, since they would not have to be on the company network to be able to connect to their systems. This can not only reduce department expenditure (reduced need to car parking perhaps?) but will increase staff morale.
Feel confident yet?
If this article hasn’t given you the gusto to get up and go to your senior managers and demand an AP Automation project right now, I would be interested to know why.
Send me an email to email@example.com and I will respond to any questions or queries.
If you are in fact automating AP, take a look at our whitepaper below looking at the latest in invoice capture technology (in the cloud of course!).
Download our Capture as a Service Whitepaper Today!