How to choose accounts payable partner

How to choose an accounts payable software provider

We’ll go through the general process and important points to look out for when choosing an accounts payable partner.

Due to some potentially complex setting up processes, you want to make sure that you make the right choice, first time.

Sales Demonstrations

These are mean’t to show you the best version of the software.

With a good sales demonstration there will be a strict process that they have tested before the meeting.

These are beneficial to get a feel for the software and how intuitive it is.

Will your employee’s understand how to use it?

How long will it take to learn the functions and get the full benefit from it?

TIP: During the demonstration, have some custom processes that you face regularly. You need to see the software solving your day to day struggles.

Integration

How will the software integrate into your current workflow?

Its important to know the difference between the two types (batch and real-time) of integration.

Batch

Batch integration is commonly used and is where a certain amount of data is stored, before a process is started.

For example, you might want to have a minimum number of invoices to process before running them through the system.

Real-time

This is where your process runs as soon as there is anything to do.

Even if its a single data file to process, real-time integration means that the process runs to get that file approved / recorded as soon as it arrives.

How will each integration impact your current process?

Has the vendor carried out an integration before to the scale that you need?

Its important to know this, especially if your current process is complex.

Automating your accounts payable process is highly beneficial to your business, but, its crucial to get the integration done to perfect standard.

Possible issues that you can run into during an integration could be miss placed files, incorrect data entry and wrongly implemented approval processes.

Here at CoreIntegrator, we’ve been integrating our software for over 20 years and have worked with huge clients such as NASA and Bridgestone.

How to pinpoint the options you should evaluate

To properly think about this you need to know your current process.

Mapping out the day to day steps of your accounts payable process will give you an easy insight into where the process can be improved.

Sharing this with the software providers allows them to identify areas where their product already helps or where they could configure their product to help you.

We’ve found this process works really well, even in the stages where you are still deciding.

A good service provider will know their software inside-out and will quickly identify if their solution is a good fit for your business.

For example, the CoreIntegrator product configurable in so many ways the answer to most questions from a partner is “Yes, we can do that”.

The difficult part is finding those questions. So, mapping out the process visually, it makes each step easier to analyze and solve / optimize.

Cost

Cost is also a huge factor in determining factor in the solution you end up choosing.

The ultimate question is: How quickly will you see a return on your investment?

One way is to find out how much you’ll save per year, is by using our cost calculator.

Discovery process – more detailed requirements

Once you have selected a vendor/partner – it is time (before contracts are signed) to perform a discovery process and document exactly what is to be delivered based on your requirements. 

This documentation process should result in a project scope document that will be used to determine:  final cost, deliverable items, schedule, and out-of-scope requirements (if there are any). 

Do not short cut this process. 

It should be thoroughly complete and detailed enough to avoid misunderstandings later.

Contracts and proposals

There should be enough information that explains everything to be delivered, what the implementation process includes (and does not include), as well as ongoing support and maintenance fees/policies.

A successful implementation requires full commitment from both sides and having resources scheduled for critical items is mandatory for a smooth process. 

You will need to be prepared to perform various user acceptance testing (UAT) tasks, review workflows, forms, and functionality throughout the process.

Conclusion

As a very quick overview, its essential for you to be clear about your process and which areas you want / can automate.

Having this clear will help in all the steps of choosing an accounts payable software solution.

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