As 2019 is coming to a close and many finance leaders are finalizing their 2020 budgets, standardizing processes and implementing automated invoice and payment processing solutions are the top budget priorities of AP departments, according to the Institute of Finance and Management’s (IOFM) research. Why? Improving staff productivity is the biggest catalyst of AP automation. Saving money and driving profits to the bottom line is another.
This same report reveals that an eye-popping 84% of AP practitioners are optimistic about the progress their department will make over the next three years in eliminating paper processes altogether.* Are you one of them? If so, you are off to a good start. And hopefully you have included AP automation in your 2020 budget. You don’t want to wait another year!
But you also don’t want to make any mistakes when choosing your solution. In this blog series, based on the whitepaper by IOFM spokesperson and AP automation subject matter expert Mark Brousseau, we explore seven pitfalls that can cause you to waste your AP budget and how to keep your business case on track.
ONE. Clunky integration with legacy finance systems: No matter how good an automated accounts payable solution is, if it doesn’t integrate with your legacy finance systems (ERP)—the financial nerve center of an organization—you will still experience the same pain points that led you to automating in the first place, like: Enormous amounts of time spent manually rekeying information on approved invoices into the ERP, searching for or retrieving invoices, and error-prone audit processes across fragmented systems.
How to stay on track: Look for a solution that seamlessly integrates with your legacy finance systems.
Why Yooz? Yooz seamlessly integrates with more than 200 ERP for one complete end-to-end invoice and payment processing solution. All with one login.
TWO: Resistance to Change: Change management is often an afterthought when organizations decide to automate. But front-line staff can provide valuable insights into the current challenges with paper-based processes and are key to a smooth transition. If business leaders do not properly manage the technology’s impact on staff, it can cause:>Low morale
>Delays in rolling out the system
>Loss of goodwill/trust with senior management
>Potential impact on suppliers and internal stakeholders
How to stay on track: Start by identifying key stakeholders across functions who can help contribute to the success of the project and engage them early on.
Next, develop a comprehensive change management plan that includes a roll-out checklist, communications to users, and training activities.
Finally, address user concerns head-on to eliminate the possibility that they will fester.
Why Yooz? Your Yooz implementation team is with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth transition. And, we continue to support all users with resources, tools, and events—like our monthly Yooz Insider webinar with COO Laurent Charpentier—to help the AP team get the most benefits from the solution.
THREE. Unclear business rules: There are countless conditions when processing invoices. For instance, certain invoices may have a higher processing priority than other invoices and need to be forwarded to the front of the queue, like those from suppliers that offer an early payment discount. Or, a portion of invoice line items may be matched against a P.O. while others are not.
Unfortunately, many organizations that are planning to automate their accounts payable processes never take the time upfront to document their business rules for processing invoices, which prevents setting proper customizations.
How to stay on track: Understand and rationalize the business rules early in your automation project to help ensure that the solution is configured correctly the first time, eliminating the possibility of exceptions later. Additionally, make sure your prospective technology providers are able to provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to well-defined business rules such as capture requirements, or a brief explanation for ‘areas of grey.’
Why Yooz? With the Yooz solution you only pay for what you need—and we help you understand exactly what you need—with the ability to revise customizations as your business needs change and scale as you grow.
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll review four more pitfalls to avoid so you don’t waste your AP budget.
*Download the complete whitepaper, Seven Ways to Make the Most of Your AP Budget.
And for a complete guide on how to prepare for your AP automation journey, download this comprehensive checklist.