AP Success in a Digital World: Technology, Talent and Collaboration

ap success

By Ernie Humphrey, VP, Thought Leadership, Stampli

The bar for AP success has become much higher the past few years as many companies have paid more attention to the inherent inefficiencies in processes that involve paper, inefficient communication, and technology that is not able to remove the friction inherent in the P2P cycle. Companies have also realized the meaningful productivity drag that existed across the Office of the CFO in current AP practices. How can AP leaders rise to meet rising expectations from CFOs?

I want to share ten tips for AP leaders to leverage to empower best-in-class AP in any business environment:

  1. Defining AP Success
  2. Understanding the Skills of Your AP Team
  3. Identify Skills Gaps that exist in Your AP Team
  4. Identify Technology Gaps & Assess Needs
  5. Understand Your Current Systems
  6. Understanding Time Spent on Non-Value Add Activities
  7. Assess Current Relationships with Internal AP Customers
  8. Understand the Impact of AP Actions on Supplier Relationships
  9. Collaborate with Procurement & Treasury to Take More Control of Payments
  10.  Invest in Relationships  
    • Internally- within & beyond AP
    • Externally- suppliers and service providers

AP done right can deliver 10 bottom line impacts:

  1. Mitigates invoice processing costs
  2. Mitigates the payment of duplicate invoices
  3. Mitigates time spent resolving supplier issues/disputes
  4. Allows discount opportunities to be captured
  5. Facilitates early payment program (dynamic discounting & supply chain financing) opportunities
  6. Impacts the productivity of employees processing invoices
  7. Mitigates payment processing costs
  8. Improves working capital management
  9. Impacts the productivity of employees approving & affecting payments
  10. Rebates from commercial card payments

Five Specific recommendations to set the stage for AP success are:

  1. Commit to understanding new AP challenges that have and will arise in the remote reality.
  2. Adopt a customer service-led mentality for AP relative to all parties involved in your AP process.
  3. Position AP to add value across the enterprise.
  4. Facilitate collaboration between AP & key stakeholders.
  5. Invest in the technology you need with the provider you deserve.

Companies of all sizes across all industries are leveraging technology that brings invoices to life and facilitates effective collaboration across internal departments and with suppliers to mitigate invoice processing costs, minimize time misallocation within and beyond AP, and delivers control of the P2P process end-to-end. Your company deserves best-in-class accounts payable.

If you want to experience a deeper dive into my tips and action items attend my session at the Treasury & Finance in the Next Normal Virtual Forum on September 17th.

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