6 golden rules to switch to AP automation

December 6, 2011  |  Invoice Automation, Publications

We love them. Lists. Why? Because they make short structured easy readable content. And also because it is a sign that something is hitting a common playground. That is why we created list like this one, this one, and this one. And now we have another list.

This list post is with courtesy of Basware, that created an e-book that outlines 7 golden rules that can help you transition to Accounts Payable Automation. We ran through them and came up with these 6 rules:


Agree on the scope

Visualize your end goal: “Where do you want to be after the project has ended?” (and no, Honolulu is not the correct answer).

It’s very important for you to picture how invoice arrival, accounts payable invoice handling, review and approval, opportunities for automatic matching, payment options, archiving and stakeholder engagement will look.

Without this kind of projection, it is extremely difficult to make the crucial decisions and you will probably end up with an an in-effective system without strong foundations.


Analyse existing processes

Do a full analysis of your current controls and visibility, current invoice handling process and payments and current stakeholder engagement. Done well, this will help you to find the topics that need the most attention.


Get forensic, go into the details

In an ideal world, best practice would involve full e-invoicing being implemented. Yet, it’s not possible in every instance. The next best option is Scan & Capture of paper invoices, which is a good alternative.

Just overlooking your AP automation framework isn’t good enough. It’s also very important to take a detailed look into your invoice pre-processing, invoice processing, invoice post-processing and auditing/reporting plans. And with a detailed look, we mean a very detailed look.

Every so often it shows that the key to get the best results you can, lies in that tiny detail. So go over there, put on your lab coat and get forensic. And if you are not fit for the job (getting 10 cups of coffee and reading the news papers first), get someone else who likes doing this job.


Innovate, don’t centralize

The modern state of technology and innovations now lets even the most decentralized organization function like a centralized organisation or much more efficiently than in the past.

So focus on what is really important and what isn’t, don’t try to centralize inefficient functions but harness innovations.


Know your priorities

There are often a lot of options/priorities to consider, but only choosing the right ones really contribute to the success of your AP automation project and to your business.

Priorities like: control, visibility, efficiency and agility are integral for a successful accounts payable system project. So, what activities are core and which aren’t. And, what options, priorities could be more effectively and efficiently managed by a third-party?


Be a realist

Define well thought-out goals. Be sure that the goals are SMART, motivating. Make them appealing for you, your team and your ROI. Be clear about the scope of a project. Make sure that due effort goes towards planning. Meanwhile take a keen eye at the outcomes, during and after the project.

Download the Basware e-book

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