…..or maybe not. Some of you may already experience a niggling feeling like, “This process is just so much harder than it needs to be. There’s got to be an easier way!”. You are correct.
When the finance world talks about “automation” software, it truly does seem to be the answer to all of Accounts Payable’s problems. No more paper invoices, less manual data entry, less lost or missing documents, easy PO-matching, and the list goes on…
This article from My Venture Pad discusses the idea that improving the communication in the Accounts Payable could go a long way towards enabling productive conversations around invoice approvals. Here’s an excerpt:
- An ideal, communications-based Accounts Payable process should look like this:
- Put AP in control by putting everyone in control. Once an invoice is sent off for approval, AP loses control and visibility. That’s when the chase begins. When everyone in that matrix is given control over their piece of the puzzle they become more than a signature, they become an ‘stakeholder’ invested in a successful outcome.
- User-friendly tools. Empowering employees to do their work most efficiently really requires an intuitive solution that doesn’t require them to learn any new skills or workflow. Providing these users additional benefits will make them feel more involved and accountable for the process, Such benefits can be updates re invoices they approved and easy way to find previous invoice in order to approve a new one.
- Open invitation. To really streamline the process, it’s important that everyone has the ability to invite others to contribute to the conversation. This allows an invoice to quickly reach its final destination and for Accounts Payable to know that the agreed terms have been satisfied.
- ERP integration. The last thing any team wants is to get IT involved in another implementation project. If you’re using NetSuite, Intacct, SAP, or another ERP, having an Accounts Payable solution that integrates with that system can save a lot of time and hassle.
Could communications be the answer to improving Accounts Payable at your company?