Improving Accounts Payable ‘AP’preciation

Improving Accounts Payable ‘AP’preciation

Accounts Payable has a difficult, often thankless job. Sometimes, you might feel a little like this guy (minus the stapler obsession):

As an AP professional, you have to constantly nag people in other departments to respond to your approval requests and inquiries in order to get invoices processed on time. Often, the process is stalled as approvers follow up with their team members to verify details. This can result in delays and frustration for you in Accounts Payable. Nagging your busy colleagues in other departments is not much fun, so you are caught between a rock and a hard place. Constant nagging makes you unpopular amongst your colleagues, and late payments hurt your company’s relationship with vendors.

How can you solve this problem at your company?

Fortunately, you can be the change agent that bridges the gap between Accounts Payable and the rest of the company. Here’s how to solve AP’s biggest invoice management problem AND improve relationships across the organization:

Give approvers access up-front to relevant information to make smart decisions. Information they frequently find useful might be previous invoices processed from that vendor, open Purchase Orders’ information, etc.

Keep them involved in the process. Allow them to follow up with you. Demonstrate that you are not only asking them to approve an invoice, you are informing them along the way, and notifying them when it was paid.

Transparency is keep to a cooperative working relationship. Late payments hurt your company’s relationships with business partners, so it helps everyone if you make it clear to approvers when their invoice is due. Give them a chance to manage the situation from their side, while keeping the process transparent.

What’s the key takeaway from this article?

Accounts Payable’s responsibility to manage invoice approvals can be frustrating and time consuming. Open communications, knowledge enablement, and Accounts Payable process transparency is the key to keeping people on all sides of the invoice process happy. As a result, your colleagues will find a greater appreciation for Accounts Payable’s role in keeping the company running smoothly. It’s a win-win!

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