In Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series, we’ve introduced highlights from a comprehensive checklist based on our recent whitepaper, 16 Very Effective Ways to Mess Up Your AP Automation Project, to help you avoid “messing up” when it comes to choosing the right invoice payment (AP) processing automation provider.
Step 1 was about PREPARATION—making sure you have all of your ducks in a row before you start investigating invoice payment (AP)processing providers.
Step 2 was about ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS—so you can be best informed about which of the AP automation vendors you are considering best meets your business goals.
And, finally, Step 3 is about knowing how to ANSWER the questions that potential vendors might—actually, should—ask you.
STEP 3: QUESTIONS THE VENDOR WILL ASK YOU: What questions should the vendor have for your firm to better understand your AP workflow and pain points? By following Step 1 in Part 1 of this blog series, you’ll be PREPARED to answer them! See? It all comes full circle!
- What prompted you to investigate automating your firm’s invoice and payment processing? In other words, what pain points are you hoping to solve?
- What is your ERP/legacy financial system?
- Are you looking for an on-premise or cloud-based solution? Remember, you’ll know the answer to this from Step 1: Preparation.
- How many AP clerks do you have processing invoices today? In how many locations? And are you centralized—all invoices being processed in one location—or decentralized?
- How many invoices do you process per month?
- Do you currently outsource the opening, scanning, and coding of your invoices?
- Do you process purchase orders/purchase requisitions (POs/PRs)? If so, what percentage of invoices require a PO/PR?
- What does your approval routing process look like?
- Do invoices ever slip through the cracks, get lost, delayed being approved, or misplaced? How often?
- After processing, how are invoices sent to your ERP system and/or stored?
- Are you also looking to automate payments?
- Are you currently taking advantage of early payment discounts and/or negotiating early payment discounts from your suppliers/vendors?
- Who are the project team members and key decision maker(s) involved in your AP automation discovery process?
- What is the number one thing you wish you could have in a system that automates your invoice processing and payments?
- Have you ever investigated/documented how much time and how much it costs to process an invoice through your enterprise? If so, how do you hope to improve?
If a provider you are considering does not ask you these questions, consider whether their solution will completely meet your business goals.
Hopefully, this 3-part series will go a long way in helping you get prepared for your AP automation journey.
Download the complete comprehensive checklist to prevent you from “messing up” your AP automation project at.
This blog series is reprised and updated from our November 2018 blog series by the same name.