How to Overcome Resistance to AP Automation
The benefits of accounts payable automation software are undeniable. In addition to saving your company time and money, accounts payable automation software enables accounting staff to direct their energies to value-added tasks. In spite of these benefits, accounting employees are sometimes resistant to the concept of automation. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to counter this resistance and secure the buy-in of all of the members of your accounting team. Below are seven steps to overcoming resistance to accounts payable automation.
1) Involve your accounting staff in the switch to automation software.
Suddenly springing news of an impending switch to accounts payable automation software can leave accounting employees feeling like their thoughts and opinions do not matter. However, if you involve them in the switch to automation, you foster transparency and trust among employees. They will also be more likely to embrace automation.
2) Make your staff aware of the benefits of accounts payable automation.
One of the best ways to ensure that accounting employees buy into accounts payable automation is to educate them about the key advantages of automation. If possible, explain exactly how automation will benefit each employee. Key benefits to cover include the following:
- Eligibility for discounts that accompany faster payment of invoices
- Increased accuracy of accounting data
- Enhanced cash flow control
- Improved relationships with suppliers
- More accurate P.O. matching
3) Emphasize the ways that automation will facilitate audits.
Accounts payable automation software facilitates audit preparation in many ways. For starters, data stored electronically is easier for auditors to track. Automation software provides online document storage for checks, invoices and payment receipts. Auditors can quickly and easily trace payments to vendors and clients, reducing the amount of time required to complete the auditing process.
4) Make sure members of your accounting staff know that their jobs are safe.
When some employees hear the word “automation,” they begin to worry that they are in danger of losing their jobs. Let them know that they are not in danger of losing their jobs. On the contrary, automation software will allow them to improve their efficiency and perform their jobs better, as well as transition and focus on learning new skills such as deeper financial analysis.
5) Cite the positive environmental impact of using automation software.
Using accounts payable automation software illustrates your company’s commitment to conserving resources and protecting the environment. Here are a few ways that automation software positively impacts the environment:
- You will reduce your company’s carbon footprint by printing fewer checks and envelope labels
- Payments can easily be tracked online, erasing the need to print reports and other paperwork
- You will reduce your use of paper by virtually eliminating the need for paper checks
6) Highlight the key tasks that your staff can now focus on.
Automating your accounts payable enables your staff to zero in on value-added accounting tasks. Examples include negotiating with suppliers for lower rates, improving forecasting, and fraud prevention. They can also focus on resolving any pre-existing disputes with suppliers and improving relationships with vendors.
7) Regularly solicit feedback from your staff.
Perfection is usually elusive, even in the black and white world of accounting. Your employees will have valuable feedback regarding the automation process, and may even have suggested strategies that could enhance your E-invoicing. Be sure to ask them for their feedback periodically so that you may continually improve your accounts payable processes.
The Bottom Line
Introducing accounts payable automation software to your company is an excellent way to improve efficiency, accuracy, and cash flow. In spite of these advantages, some accounting employees are slow to embrace the benefits of accounts payable automation software. By following the seven steps above, you can help overcome staff resistance to accounts payable automation.