We opened Part 1 of this blog series by asking if you are one of the 84% of AP practitioners who are optimistic about the progress their department will make over the next three years in eliminating paper processes altogether.* And we encouraged you to include AP automation in your 2020 budget.
Because we don’t want you to make any mistakes when choosing your solution we’re identifying seven pitfalls that can cause you to waste your AP budget and how to keep your business case on track.
FOUR. Confusion about how supplier invoices currently arrive: Supplier invoices increasingly arrive via multiple channels in a range of formats, including paper, e-mail, PDF, fax, electronic data interchange (EDI), XML, and web and mobile form. But many organizations still purchase automated accounts payable solutions that were built to handle only paper invoices. Why?
- Essential information is not captured.
- Data is poorly organized.
- Information is not timely.
- Systems are not well-integrated.
- Decision-makers do not have access to key variables.
How to stay on track: Understand how invoices arrive in your organization and purchase an automated AP solution that was designed to process all invoices, regardless of how they arrive.
Why Yooz? The Yooz platform accepts invoices and captures the information through smart data extraction in every format, including paper, e-mail, PDF, fax, electronic data interchange (EDI), XML, and web and mobile form.
FIVE. Inflexible workflows: Automating AP offers organizations like yours a rare opportunity to reengineer your invoice workflows to be more streamlined. Unfortunately, too many fail to validate vendor claims about the ease with which their workflows can be configured. In many cases, as a result, organizations get trapped in a never-ending cycle of paying vendors to modify the workflows in their rigid technology using costly, custom code.
How to stay on track: Don’t believe everything you see in product demonstrations. Test the flexibility of the workflows offered by prospective vendors to ensure they can meet your organization’s ever-changing needs. Ask vendors to demonstrate their software using your documents and workflows.
SIX. Inadequate implementation planning: Deploying an automated solution can be complex. This is especially true in accounts payable where projects typically involve process and workflow changes, multiple stakeholders across the enterprise, including suppliers, and integration with legacy back-end systems. This makes the implementation critical to the success of an automation project. An effective system implementation approach can make or break a project before it even begins. Unfortunately, many AP departments become so focused on the technology involved in their automation initiatives that they overlook the importance of implementation planning.
How to stay on track: Look for technology solutions providers with a professional services team that is expert in process improvement. Be leery of solutions providers who do not analyze your current AP workflows and take the time to understand your desired end-state, before the implementation begins. And they should offer insightful best practices for continuous improvement.
Why Yooz? Your Yooz implementation team is with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth transition. Our goal is to be a true business partner and assist in configuring features and customizations and implementing the platform based on your business needs. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
But don’t take our word for it. Mellisia James, assistant controller at AdTheorent advises, “We wanted a provider that could customize its solution to our needs and build around our processes. Yooz stood out because it people really listened to our business goals, rather than telling us what we should do!”
SEVEN. A poor technology fit: Choosing the wrong technology solution for your accounts payable project can result in processes being digitized in the wrong sequence, wasted time and effort correcting sub-optimal automation, poor return on investment, strained stakeholder relations, and less cross-functional harmony. Confusion about the array of technologies and approaches available for accounts payable automation is the most common culprit.
How to stay on track: Look for these 11 key attributes to focus on when evaluating prospective vendors:
- Ease of use
- Seamless integration with legacy finance systems
- Capabilities for intelligent data capture using optical character recognition (OCR) and smart data extraction
- Customizable workflow configurability
- Hands-on implementation and ongoing training and support
- Data and document archive and retrieval
- Comprehensive, insightful, and flexible reporting and analytics
- Capability to automatically upload invoice and supporting documents directly into ERP
- Support for mobile approvals and research
- Data security and fraud prevention functionalities
- Flexible pricing model
Why Yooz? We say yes to all eleven key attributes! And it’s reflected in our brand promise: Easy. Powerful. Smart.
*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.