Collaboration between two business partners always begins with the understanding that the combined efforts of two partners together are more potent than those of any single entity standing alone. Collaborative arrangements are possible both inside and outside of an organization, but competition and lack of trust can interfere with the desire to collaborate.

Successful collaboration can always result in increased profitability for an organization. What collaboration is and what it is not, is explored more fully in an article written by Heidi K. Gardner and Herminia Ibarra titled, “How to Capture Value from Collaboration, Especially If You’re Skeptical About It”.

Accounts payable automation works most efficiently when smooth collaboration between departments is achieved. Because electronic invoicing is a procure-to-pay solution, mutual cooperation between procurement and accounts payable is a given. It assures that the right invoices are paid, the best suppliers are chosen, and purchasing agreements are adhered to. Collaboration with Treasury is also beneficial. It assures that the budget will be well-defined and finances will be spent in the right way.

Reaching Toward Common Goals

Collaboration and trust is encouraged when all departments are aware of common goals. This allows them to move in the same direction, instead of working from opposing angles. Goals should be clearly defined, as well as the part each department should play in reaching them. Accounts payable automation allows each department to view the progress made by other departments in reaching common objectives. Higher visibility afforded by e-invoicing means that less misunderstandings will occur.

Sharing Resources for Greater Strength

Interdepartmental collaboration results in an increase in resources through shared information. Each department can offer a viewpoint uniquely their own that adds to the total. Pertinent information is openly shared in e-invoicing that will benefit each department and in turn benefit the business as a whole. Procurement and accounts payable can work together to find the suppliers who will be the most dependable in fulfilling business contracts. Archiving of contractual documents and invoices in AP automation allows both departments the information tracking to make this process an easier one.

Once the best suppliers are identified, dynamic discounting can be used to enhance the relationship with them. A new, favorable collaboration can be forged with suppliers who will soon discover that dynamic discounting means that invoices can be paid early and correctly. Open communication with Treasury will assure that invoice payments are made within budgetary limitations.

The implementation of electronic invoicing is not only the best reason to collaborate with other departments. It is also the best tool to use to achieve such collaboration.