Changing of the Guard with AP Automation
One important part of the executive role is to clearly define corporate goals to all personnel and make certain that company priorities are lining up with them. If there is a large disparity between the two, something major is wrong, and it may very well be the executive himself who needs to change.
In today’s modern business age, the corporate decision to postpone going digital can be a fatal mistake. It can have a direct effect on profits, since those companies that have already made the move to digital are preferred by customers. There may be many reasons why a CEO would be reluctant to embrace swapping out routine processes to convert to digital, but the results will eventually be the same – a downturn in profits.
Board members should be aware of this, and should consider carefully whether existing personnel are moving in step with the times. Removing personnel as important to the life of the company as the CEO is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it may be necessary, if company profits are seriously stalled. Ram Charan discusses some of the considerations involved, and why removal may still be necessary, in his article, “Boards Can’t Wait For CEO’s To Prioritize Digital Change”.
It should be noted that the average company is under a great deal of scrutiny by the public. Firing a CEO can be viewed by many as an admission of internal problems that could sour public opinion and adversely affect profits. Therefore, other solutions should be tried first.
Accounts Payable Managers Can Share the Vision
Not only should the CEO recognize the need to move to digital practices, but primary department leaders, such as those in accounts payable, should be sharing the same vision. Too much confusion can arise if they don’t.
Both the executive leadership and the accounts payable department must understand that the switch to electronic invoicing will come at a cost. The conversion to accounts payable automation will involve a learning curve, changes in tasks and responsibilities, and an investment that will be balanced out over time. The immediate discomfort of learning new e-invoicing responsibilities will soon be relieved as old dreaded work tasks become easier and less burdensome.
Dynamic discounting as a part of AP automation will give the accounts payable manager a new, more active role to play in the life of the company, that will more than make up for effort expended to learn. A sense of satisfaction and a new motivation to explore the depth of possibilities afforded by electronic invoicing will be the inevitable result.
There really is no more time left for procrastination. Automation has become a fact of life, albeit a complicated one for the average business. The complications should be viewed as only temporary, to be replaced eventually by new opportunities for growth.