How to Get the Green Light on AP Automation
The benefits of invoice-to-pay automation go beyond the obvious cost savings and efficiency improvements. It is critical that when you build your business case you tie in the cost savings as well as the efficiency improvements. If management can see the clear cost-savings, they are more likely to greenlight your proposal to automate your invoice-to-pay process.
Alas, most professionals don’t just make up their minds that their company needs to automate their invoice-to-pay process and do so without further ado. Inevitably, approval and budget allocation are required from senior management. When making the pitch, be realistic in what you propose. Before you get started, you should try to identify an executive sponsor who is likely to be sympathetic to the automation cause.
Make sure to have a good understanding of what is likely to be approved. If you are unsure, discuss the matter ahead of time with your boss. Take the time to address all of the issues in a way that is easily understood with the full reasoning on how automation will impact these issues. If you can show tighter internal control, better regulatory compliance and/or a way to deter fraud, you’ll have a higher chance of success.
Have a solid understanding on the cost savings so you can show the positive impact on the bottom line. And, make sure you have the numbers to back up what is being shown. Sometimes this requires additional help from the solution provider.
Lastly, and not to be overlooked, are those pet issues near and dear to the hearts of your senior management. If your invoice-to-pay automation project can help with those, your chances of getting approval skyrocket. Even if you think those issues are irrelevant, include them when building your business case. Think of them as greasing the wheels to your success.
In this paper, we look at:
- The issues plaguing accounts payable today
- How automation helps address these issues
- How to sell automation up the chain
- A checklist for building your business case