Most people these days continue to think that AP departments are meant for just focusing on certain manual activities and data entry. But, that was in the past. Fast forward to current day and well into the future of business and you’ll see that the opportunities abound for AP professionals via Accounts Payable Automation. AP Automation and E-invoicing can help them to be more successful at improving the operations of their companies while also striving for higher levels of overall efficiency, control and intelligence in the areas of finance and operations.

So, how can AP Managers leverage current technology trends to drive both financial and operational value for their entire organization? Here are a few integral steps for accomplishing the following goals:

  • Automation of Current Processes and Improving Exceptions

To facilitate AP’s evolution into a company function that is viewed by everyone as much more strategic, AP teams must have the capability of reducing exceptions by using improved processes that include root cause analysis. Investing in new AP Automation technologies can facilitate allowing its functions to start creating improvements in strategic values as well as smoothing the processes of the entire AP department.

  • Gain Executive Support

To move AP to the highest possible performance levels, AP teams need to be cognizant of the intrinsic value of their investment in AP Automation. That way, they can gain executive support for greatly improving the overall operations of their respective organizations. To do so, AP department heads need to start off by developing a strategy for improving the company’s AP brand and then seriously altering any mistaken perceptions by the powers that be that AP automation only plays a small tactical role in the grand scheme of things.

  • Leverage Technology

AP teams can do this by creating a link between enterprise priorities and department-level goals for facilitating improvement in all capability gaps that currently hold AP back. The fact is that as many as 60 percent of AP leaders see using new AP Automation technology as the top method of helping their AP departments to climb to a position where they are strategically valued. AP Automation can facilitate this change via the removal of paper on both ends of the AP workflow via the use of links between downstream and upstream processes. In addition, increases in efficiency and decreases in overall processing time will occur as the AP department’s processes become more automated and, in the end, more affordable.

By following these steps, AP departments have the opportunity of preparing for their future and enabling their department to function as a strategic partner rather than just an often overlooked part of the organization as a whole. Studies have shown that improvements in AP technology are quite possibly the main requirement for AP departments to be able to rise to their highest possible performance levels.