Crafting An Airtight Case For AP Automation
Upper management is consistently cited as the number one obstacle to implementing AP automation software. They have a lot on their plate, and many times the AP department just doesn’t rank very high on their priority list. If you want updates in AP, you’ll have to show them why they should care. Your goal in building a business case for AP automation is to convince higher-ups that improving the AP department has too many benefits for it to take a back seat to other projects.
Start out by explaining why there’s a need for AP automation. It’s not just a new toy for the AP department. It’s a vital software tool that will solve an array of issues plaguing accounts payable.
Most departments that aren’t yet using AP automation struggle to keep up with processing invoices on time and without errors. Make the argument that your company is losing money because of late fees and by paying employees to spend so much time on manual processing. Also, point out that manual data entry involves errors that will compromise your record keeping and affect future audits.
Next, explain how AP automation software will solve the problems your company is facing. If your AP department struggles to process invoices before payment deadlines, point out that automation tracks deadlines and eliminates that problem. In some cases, it can even enable fast enough invoice processing to take advantage of early payment discounts.
Another benefit comes from lowering the processing cost per invoice. Processing costs go up the longer an employee has to spend with each invoice, and automation reduces the need for human interaction. Digital information capture also eliminates human error when copying data. In addition, AP automation strengthens internal controls and helps prevent fraud.
No matter how good you can make AP automation sound, no one’s going to get on board with it unless you can tell them how much it’s going to cost. When coming up with this number, remember to figure in how much you’re saving in labor costs and by avoiding late fees.
The exact cost will vary depending on the size of your company and the AP system you choose. Here at NextProcess, we charge per document processed and offer discounts for higher volumes. That means you only pay for what you use in a given month. Also, we keep implementation costs low by using cloud-based systems.
Your case will be stronger if you can anticipate and answer as many questions about AP automation as possible. Talk with people in other departments, such as IT and HR. Find out what their concerns are regarding AP automation. Once you know what they’re thinking, you’ll be able to work responses to their concerns into your case.
For example, if IT isn’t sold on the idea of a cloud-based solution, you can present tables comparing the on-premises approach to the SaaS approach. If there’s a concern about automation resulting in layoffs, you can point out that AP employees will be able to shift their focus to more value-added tasks for the company.
Once you’ve captured executives’ interest in AP automation software, get in touch with us. We’ll schedule a demonstration of our software for free so you can demonstrate first-hand what a big difference AP automation can make in your business.