Know your stakeholders
To persuade buy-in, you’ll need to communicate effectively with different stakeholders and help each one understand how the project will make their life easier.
Here are a few key messages for each of them.
Pitching AP Automation to the C-Suite
Your challenge: convince executives who are satisfied that it’s enough that operations are running smoothly that your project can pay off in a big way that’s worth making it a priority now.
Present your current process and its weaknesses
Your colleagues are most likely unaware of just how complex the bill payment process is.
With your team, write out the steps that go into processing an invoice: from receipt to closing the file. Make sure to cover the processing time, the hours a manager spends on an invoice and any issues that typically pop up during the process (such as printing, searching for documents, implementation in the current invoicing system, processing errors and so on.)
You can then quantifiably present how many steps are required and how much time is invested, plus the common pitfalls, how often they occur and the effects they have. Once the C-suite understands the opportunity that AP automation offers for optimization, you’ll likely have your initial buy-in.
AP automation is a profitable project
You’ll want to demonstrate just how effective implementing this project will be in terms of ROI and potential savings. An efficiency ratio report can lay out your argument.
Once you’ve gathered the raw data for step one, calculate the costs for each of the processes. A summary table can present the main issues and their consequences not only for the finance department but for the company as a whole. Focus on key figures. We know, for example, that paying by an electronic fund transfer is now 10 times less costly than sending a cheque, and that AP automation leads to an average of 67% fewer late payments.
With a cost-benefit analysis, you can back up your argument to show the savings the company will enjoy once AP automation is in operation: savings in information processing, fewer penalties related to errors or payment delays, potential discounts and much more.
The idea here is to offer a forecast of the AP automation-related costs and the returns on investment in both the short and long term. INTEGRIM can help you put together this preliminary analysis. Just contact our experts to find out more.
A liquidity management tool
Once senior management is on board, it’s time to persuade your team members and anybody else who the AP automation project will impact on a daily basis.
The accounts payable team
Change can be scary. For those doing the processing to the department head, the AP automation project is sure to shake up the status quo. This means you can expect to run into a little resistance when it comes to change.
Automating tasks adds value
Eliminating manual tasks will save your teams a lot of time. Have a sit-down with the team members to explain that they need not fear that jettisoning repetitive tasks means cutting their positions. Quite the opposite in fact. It will give them the opportunity to upgrade their skillset to more rewarding, value-added tasks, such as analysis, oversight and fraud management. They’ll put their expertise to work in strategic tasks, which means more recognition internally and a more valued role in the company. Of course, from a management perspective, this is a great way to hold onto talent and make the company more attractive.
Free up the team for more strategic tasks
Dealing with errors or delays or calling back disgruntled suppliers are some of the annoying tasks that AP automation will leave by the wayside. In the daily life of your teams, this cuts down on searching through paper files and other unpleasant tasks, thus reducing overall stress. These irritants will be replaced by more rewarding, strategic tasks like negotiating prices with suppliers or analyzing cash flow forecasts for better working capital.
How about tech support?
This is the question everybody from upper management to your team members to IT will have on their minds. How will we implement a new technology? Do we have the wherewithal and skills to implement and use new tools? These are justifiable concerns, as the success of this kind of project depends on the proper implementation and optimal day-to-day use of your AP automation system.
An expert automation partner to lead the way
This is where the choice of a trusted partner is crucial. You need to know you’re in good hands when it comes to implementation, that you can count on your partner’s technological and financial know-how and their ability to anticipate your needs.
Quick and easy implementation
INTEGRIM is the only player in the market that offers to implement a standard solution for AP automation that’s complete and effective, all in a tight time frame.
Not only do we adapt to each company’s structure, we also adjust this set-up time to fit with your specific needs. Our solution is implemented quickly with the help of our consultant team to ensure that you fully take advantage of all benefits relevant to your needs.
By first getting to know your specific needs and your business reality, INTEGRIM offers you the solution that best suits your operations, your structure and your constraints. Not only do we identify all that can be optimized, but we quantify the operational and financial benefits and assemble them in a report. This report serves as both a decision support tool and our work guide once the project is approved.
Our experts take care of the configuration of business rules and interfaces with your financial system, and we train the users and provide all the documentation so that your AP automation system is future-proof.
An effective, reliable solution in the blink of an eye
With the optical character recognition (OCR) solution, you can extract transaction information with perfect precision, whether you’re managing your accounts payable, your purchase orders or your expense reports. We have drawn from many fields of expertise to give you the most comprehensive offer on the market – the only one to integrate so many components and types of documents.
Systems that are flexible
One of the advantages of doing business with INTEGRIM is that we’re the only provider on the market to offer an end-to-end automation solution, a comprehensive platform that can be implemented in every financial process chain in order to facilitate continuous improvement and encourage growth. We can add payment control, accounts receivable, order processing, human resources and expense accounts modules to complete your finance automation solution.
Contact us for your internal AP automation project, and we’ll help you set up the best solution: your solution.