There’s a lot of ‘buzz’ in the payables industry about saving time and money by automating your accounts payable process.
You’ve decided that you want to understand more about AP Automation and how it may benefit YOUR organization. What should you do next?
Here are some tips to consider as you start to move your organization toward an AP Automation Solution.
Understand your existing accounts payable processes
Prior to talking to AP Automation vendors to automate your accounts payable process, one of the most important considerations is to understand your existing business processes.
You know you want AP automation, so it is important to document your current AP process including all the written and “unwritten” rules or policies.
Remember, the objective is to increase the efficiency of this process. So investing in a workflow technology to “just do the same thing you’ve been doing for years” may not be the best investment in this technology.
You put business practices into place for good reasons. And they grew organically. But over time organically grown business practices lose value. Do these business practices still make sense?
A good AP workflow partner will help you through this process evaluation and should be asking you “why” you perform certain tasks.
Change is OK. And in many cases, change can make a huge difference between successfully automating your accounts payable process implementation (achieving your goals and objectives) or not.
Read our article How to Choose an Accounts Payable Automation Software Provider
Integrations – the key to AP automation
Next, determine if and how the workflow will be integrated into your accounting system or ERP.
There are many forms of integration, so it’s important to understand how “tight” of an integration you need or desire. In some instances, it may only require the passing of basic data back and forth. But in other situations you need more seamlessly integration in a real time environment.
When a tight integration is required, it is important to either partner with a workflow company that truly understands your applications (both technically and from a business standpoint) or has that skill set in-house.
When you engage a vendor, they will work with your technical team and consultants to help you understand the level of integration that is necessary.
At CoreIntegrator, we can integrate with just about any accounting system or ERP. Including Microsoft Dynamics GP, Business Central, Quickbooks, Sage Intacct, Oracle Peoplesoft….the list goes on and on.
Engaging a vendor
When you engage with an AP Automation vendor, they should review your process analysis and integration requirements during an in-depth demo/discovery process.
The discovery is where your team and the vendor covers every detail of each process and integration.
Collaboration and discussion between your team and the vendor will be key in developing a scope of work document for the project.
When you get a proposal from vendors, they should be based on your specific requirements outlined in the scope of work document.
TIP: If a vendor provides pricing estimates without performing demo/discovery, the project has little success of being completed on time or on budget.
As with most projects, in order to have a successful implementation that meets your functionality and cost objectives, you must be willing to spend time and resources upfront to plan the project.
Want your project will have a much higher degree of success? To be completed on time and on budget? Then you must plan and prepare properly.
This means thoroughly understanding your requirements for the solution. And evaluating your options with the vendors you are about to partner with for the project.
So, you’ve decided to automate your accounts payable process
Automating your accounts payable process is one of the easiest ways to save time and money for your accounting department.
In fact, not only can automating your accounts payable process save money – using vCards for epayments can turn your AP department into a profit center!
But to have a successful experience you need to first document your current process.
Then talk to us and let us show you how we can not just automate but improve your accounts payable process.
We will take the time to understand where you are. And where you want to be. And then partner with you to get you there.