For companies trying to grow and compete in a marketplace where new, more agile competitors can sidetrack the best laid plans of your executive team, there’s little room for the kind of inefficiency that comes from sticking to manual processes.
That’s particularly true for your finance team, where the ability to quickly gather information, analyze trends and deliver insights to make informed business decisions is critical. Unfortunately, in spite of the availability of cost effective and easy-to-implement solutions to automate routine finance-related tasks, most companies continue to rely on manual processes that are perceived as ‘good enough,’ or perhaps not bad enough to prompt a change.
The truth is that your finance team deserves better. They’re hired for their business acumen and their analytics skills, not their typing or numeric keypad skills.
Here are just a few tips to help make the business case to transform them from manual laborers into fully empowered process owners and knowledge workers.
According to AIIM, 59% of organizations in North America do not currently have process automation in place for routing back office processes like accounts payable vendor invoice processes, not do they have an active financial transformation project in process.
According to AIIM’s research, 23% or companies indicated they lacked internal IT resources to undertake an automation project, while 20% indicated they lacked the capital. Thirty-five percent indicated that they were too overwhelmed by other projects to secure approval.
While these are all valid objections, the real problem they point to is the lack of an internal champion making a solid business case for change. Considering that most AP automation projects can be implemented in 90 days and achieve ROI in 180 days on average, with minimal IT involvement, these objections fall apart in the light of well-established industry metrics.
AIIM survey respondents agree with this assessment. Among those surveyed, 38% indicated that faster turn-around times helped to justify the cost, while another 36% said higher accuracy/fewer mistakes supported their return on investment, with the remaining 26% indicated that lower process costs made the case. When you’re talking about access to financial data that reflects a company’s outstanding expenses and accruals, which impacts cash flow, more timely, accurate data gathered at a lower cost is a win-win-win.
Not only do finance automation projects like AP automation make excellent business cases for process automation and improvement at a departmental level; they are also great poster children for enterprise-wide digital transformation. By demonstrating quick implementations and fast ROI, they can introduce a company to new technologies and solution approaches than can be applied more broadly to other processes within finance, and within other document- or data-burdened departments like accounts receivable, customer service and human resources.
Read Pt 2 of our Blog on AP Automation to explore going from data handling to analysis and planning. Ready to take action today? Contact your Artsyl account representative.
Read Pt 2 of our Blog on AP Automation to explore going from data handling to analysis and planning.