A recent report from the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) suggests that most organizations (75%) are demanding business process transformation in accounting and finance. For those that have no yet embarked on an automation initiative, most cited budget concerns as their primary barrier, followed by lack of technical resources to manage the project, as well as lack of executive sponsorship.
To overcome internal inertia over process automation, finance and accounts payable managers have to frame their value proposition in a way that secures budget and executive sponsorship, so that they can find the right product and the right partner to deliver on their technology vision.
Digital transformation, machine learning and AI are all hot topics among tech consultants and within corporate boardrooms. For finance leaders and AP department managers, hitching AP automation to the wagon of enterprise automation should be an easy sell.
According to a recent survey from the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), most organizations (75%) are demanding business process transformation in accounting and finance, and a new role for finance leaders.
Manual AP Processes are a Competitive Risk
Respondents to the APQC Survey indicated that nearly 3 in 4 organizations have an active financial process transformation project underway - meaning that those who do NOT have an initiative underway will be left behind in terms of process efficiency, control and competitiveness. That lack of agility and efficiency can translate into hidden costs and process flaws that can hamper a company’s ability to be both competitive and profitable.
The ROI is Clear; But Budgets Don’t Always Follow
When exploring the top reasons that firms have NOT yet automated their accounts payable processes, most cited budget concerns as their primary barrier, followed by lack of technical resources to manage the project, as well as lack of executive sponsorship. Interestingly, among those surveyed by Paystream, only 7% suggested that they did not think that AP automation would yield a sufficient return on investment.
Making the Business Case for Process Automation
Lack of sponsorship and a lack of resources (either technical or financial) are obstacles that any department faces when seeking to improve operations and secure an investment in greater process efficiency. The key is making the right business case to the right stakeholders.
For AP professionals, the good news is that the business case for AP automation is well established - and the potential results play right into the interests and objectives of financial executives who are increasingly being asked to play a more strategic role within their organizations.
Metrics to support AP automation initiatives, based on real world results across multiple industries are well established and easy to come by. Working with an AP automation solution provider, AP staff members should be able to make a strong business case for process improvement that speaks to the specific interests of the CFO and the executive team, including:
Overcoming Obstacles and Breaking Barriers
Industry organizations, accounts payable professional groups and AP automation vendors all possess a wealth of information, statistics and experience to help establish a clear business case for AP automation that can help to secure the necessary funding and internal resources. AP automation reflects the kind of vision that most corporate executives have today for more efficient and agile internal processes. The key is to demonstrate that automating AP has a greater impact than incremental cost savings and instead has strategic value to the firm.
To explore how to make the case for your organization, contact your Artsyl Technologies representative. They can help to map out your business processes, define opportunities for improvement and define specific metrics to make the case for change. www.artsyltech.com