Getting Automated in a Few, Easy Steps

Change can be a daunting task for any business, especially when it involves an entire department. Your accounts payable department is no different, particularly when discussing getting automated.

AP has to keep up with modern practices and technology just like any other office in the company. Yet AP departments often lag behind, largely because getting automated and going from paper to electronic invoicing seems such a radical and cumbersome change. It is a radical change – for the better – but not as cumbersome as you might think.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Know yourself – Finding the most effective automation for your company is no different than buying a house or car. You have to start with a solid understanding of who you are and what will serve you best. Are you a small business with one office, or an enterprise with offices all over the world? What kinds of problems are you experiencing with your current invoicing system? Ask yourself these questions and know your needs before jumping in.

Research – Once you know what you need, it’s time to research Accounts Payable Invoice Automation (APIA) and the companies that provide it. There are plenty out there, and many of them might seem the same. They’re not. Some cater to smaller businesses, others offer enterprise-level AP automation. As with any other purchase, don’t look at just the price, look at what you’ll be getting for the money.

Get Approval – Make your pitch to the superiors only after you know what you’re talking about. Be prepared to explain three things: 1) how APIA will save the company not just time but money, 2) how APIA will make life easier for every department that has some involvement in paying the bills; and 3) how quickly your company can recoup the investment.

Compare – If you haven’t already, you should start narrowing down the companies you’d like to investigate. A company that’s confident in its product will take all the time necessary to explain how it works and how they would propose setting you up for the big change. Just as important, they will explain why your suppliers will be happy to get on board with the change.

Get a Demo – Get a free, no-obligation demonstration from the company or companies that seem best suited to your needs.

Follow Up – Even after the demo, you should feel free to ask any follow-up questions. Maybe you forgot to ask something at the demonstration, or maybe your superior came up with a question after you reported back. No problem. Pick up the phone and ask away.

From there, you should have what you need to decide whether getting automated is the right move, and which company can best help you make the change efficiently, effectively and even profitably.

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