AP Automation and the CFO

CFO smiles, reviewing business analytics and KPIs from smartphone

When looking to implement automation for your accounts payable department, one of the most crucial steps is getting your CFO onboard. CFOs are inherently busy individuals, and when considering new business ideas, are mainly concerned about the scope of the project and the expected ROI. To increase the odds of your CFO committing to a project like implementing accounts payable automation, it’s important to have a business case already written up when you present the idea to them. The overall message should encompass how much time and money you can save with an AP automation solution.

Saving time and money is at the top of the list for any CFO, and with information around the ROI, you can get straight to the point with the proposed project. Research has shown that AP automation can potentially reduce the processing time for an invoice from $10.94 to $2.25. In addition, invoice processing time can be reduced from 11.9 days to 3.3 days.

In addition to the points of saving time and money, addressing the following topics can help with presenting your case to your CFO:

1. Forecasting

AP automation improves forecasting considerably due to its 24/7 visibility in real-time, which provides information regarding the status and workflow of your invoices. As a result, you get better working capital and cash flow management.

2. ROI

The right AP automation solution provides a significant ROI for your company. Without enterprise-level automation, you can process only a limited number of invoices at a time, and the likelihood of them being paid early and accumulating discounts are unlikely. With enterprise-level automation, you can process thousands of invoices simultaneously. You get instant profitability via payment times that are sped up considerably, resulting in fewer fees for late payments and new opportunities for capturing discounts.

3. Compliance

An enterprise-level solution will ease an abundance of compliance issues. E-invoicing gives you more accuracy and an audit trail that is integrated with backups and complete documentation. It also makes your access to that important documentation when it’s needed much easier than paper documents ever could. Be sure to propose a solution that meets your industry standards, such as HIPAA compliance or IATA.

A Worthy Investment

Enterprise-level automation is capable of turning an overwhelmed accounts payable department into a thriving one. It’s critical from the perspective of the CFO to understand how the right automation solution can reduce cost, turnover, and invoice-related issues. It’s important to get all the significant facts lined up to present an impressive business case to the CFO and get them onboard with a change that will improve the lives of AP, and thus the company as a whole.

Share On: