How to Free Accounts Payable from Tactical Work
Accounts Payable (AP) managers often lament how they’re viewed by their executive team:
"We aren’t seen as strategic to the business!"
In most cases, AP is so bogged down with administrative tasks—validation of invoice data, chasing down approvals, and manual matching of invoices to purchase orders—that little time is left for any activity that would add strategic value. The inefficiencies of existing processes and dependence on legacy systems force AP into spending too much time on data entry and resolution.
However, with fast and focused shifts, the AP team can drastically reduce the mind-numbing administrative work and spend much more of their time on high-value work, such as better management of working capital, financial forecasting and planning, and real-time reporting. A combination of process improvements and automation will free your AP team to work on adding strategic value to the business and boost its status to business-critical, rather than tactical.
[Watch the webinar: Hackett Group Debunks the Myth: AP Will Always be Tactile]
The benefits of transforming your AP department may seem obvious – who doesn’t want to spend less time on manual, repetitive tasks? But the real value of freeing your AP team from tactical work can be seen across the entire business.
In our new eBook, 5 Steps to Revolutionize Accounts Payable, uncover the many benefits of revolutionizing your AP function.
By following these 5 steps, you can:
- Improve financial controls and visibility
- Lower operating costs for scale
- Improve working capital management
- Achieve a faster close
- Reduce risk
So how do you know if your AP team is spending too much time on tactical work?
One of the best ways is to benchmark your team’s performance against industry standards, such as your electronic PO rate, for example – is yours 99% or better? And how about your first-time match rate? Is yours greater than 87%?
Access additional benchmarks and a self-evaluation checklist in our eBook.
If you find you have some room for improvement (most do!), the good news is that the transformation from being saddled in administrative work to spending most of your time as a strategic business partner can happen in just a few weeks.
Revolutionize your AP department in just 5 steps
Our eBook includes all the details you need to get started on your own transformation:
- Identify problem areas: Look for places in your process that require a lot of time or manual effort: chasing down missing invoices, invoice validation, and getting approvals tend to be common problem areas.
- Set improvement goals: Set high-impact, ambitious goals such as 90% touchless invoice processing, and full auditability of approvals.
- Revolutionize your AP process: Map out your desired AP process and invest in technology improvements that can help you reach your goals. Eliminating paper and automating invoice matching are good starting points, but you can do so much more.
- Boost value for stakeholders: Help stakeholders understand how they can benefit from an improved AP process – from suppliers to executives and everyone in between.
- Rapid deployment and results: Showcase results in a matter of weeks as you deploy your new process to employees and suppliers.
Ready to transform your AP department and leave all the tactical work behind?
Download our eBook, 5 Steps to Revolutionize Accounts Payable, and get started today
Ariane Lindblom is Vice President, Product & Segment Marketing at Coupa Software focused on mid-sized and fast-growth business best practices at Coupa. She is passionate about helping organizations to spend smarter to fuel growth, innovation, and unparalleled success.