5 Golden Rules for AP Transformation
In this final article in the series, ‘The Intelligent Automation Revolution’, Konica Minolta, explores the steps to an intelligent AP automation deployment that will help you better control costs, boost efficiency, improve compliance, and become more productive.
Your accounts payable (AP) system can feel like it’s jumped into the Jurassic Age. Those legacy paper-based processes you have relied on for so long are labour-intensive, error-prone, and don’t offer the data insight you need to drive the organisation forward.
It’s time for change. Time to automate your AP processes and turn the procedure from a cost centre into a growth centre. Intelligent AP automation gives you the clarity to make better, more informed business decisions, pivot at speed as new opportunities emerge, and enable finance to become a better partner to the business.
And if you’re looking for that clinch argument to persuade legacy AP process die-hards of the need for change, it’s this: the AP industry average time is 8.8 days per invoice. With automated processing it’s only 4 hours.
So how do you get there? These five ‘golden rules’ for intelligent AP automation success will help you find the right solution, accelerate the automation implementation, and speed time to value.
1. It is not just about software
While it’s crucial to choose the right automation software, that’s only half the battle. Successful AP automation relies on the transformation of your people and processes – as well as your technology. You need to answer questions such as, “What intelligent workflow is right for me?”, “How many people can be redeployed to other finance tasks following automation?”, and “Should I choose a cloud, hosted, or on premise approach?”
2. Adopt best practices
It may appear self-evident to use a best practice AP automation methodology and solution. However, it’s surprising how any finance functions simply automate broken processes. The golden rule here: embrace standardisation and process best practice to achieve lasting, future-proof AP transformation.
3. Find the right partner
Not all intelligent automation providers are equal. Look for a partner that will support and guide you on your transformation journey with end-to-end capabilities: from needs discovery and analysis to solution mapping and design, project management to implementation, software development (if necessary), transition and support.
4. Seek executive sponsorship
History is littered with process transformation programs that have failed through lack of executive and key stakeholder’s sponsorship. Be certain to gain internal buy-in at both the management and operational level. You will typically experience internal resistance to change – so focus on how AP automation delivers opportunities for everyone involved and back it up with senior support.
5. Keep it real
Don’t try to ‘boil the ocean’ on your initial AP automation program. Adopt a phased approach, initially focused on the intelligent automation of small, straightforward AP processes. Hit the ‘low hanging fruit’ first. Learn from these and build a 100% intelligent automation platform as your knowledge grows.
Konica Minolta: Your Trusted Partner for AP Transformation
Konica Minolta can help you lead change in your organisation. Our intelligent AP automation solution can transform your AP department, increase visibility, master supplier relationships, and unlock hidden potential.
With the right help, implementing this best-in-class intelligent AP automation solution is straightforward too. Konica Minolta’s expert business analysts have years of experience in AP invoice management. They will help you address your current challenges by finding an AP automation solution that fits your precise needs and budget. How? By listening to your needs, understanding your business and implementing a solution that drives value in months not years.
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