More organizations are automating their payments to suppliers to eliminate the costs, errors, inefficiencies and risks associated with paper checks.
In fact, electronic payments are the top automation priority of accounts payable department, according to Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).
But achieving return on payments automation is not assured without an effective rollout approach.
The first steps of an effective automation rollout is to make sure that everyone is on the same page before the migration from paper checks begins.
Gathering stakeholder requirements for the first time during rollout can change business rules, delay decision-making, potentially lead to costly change requests and strain working relationships at a time when collaboration is critical. Long before the migration to electronic payments begins, ensure that all stakeholders understand the objectives for the project, as well as any technical requirements.
Having consensus among stakeholders on the objectives and technical requirements enable the rollout to be planned and executed effectively.
#1 Tip for a Successful Electronic Payments Program – Create a Rollout Team
Why a project rollout team is key to electronic payments success?
Once you are ready to kick-off the rollout, establish a project rollout team.
A project rollout team monitors the progress of the migration from paper checks and makes decisions regarding process changes and supplier outreach. The project rollout team also develops the business rules that are used to configure the electronic payments solution.
To avoid major surprises, the team should include accounts payable, treasury, finance and procurement representatives, and frontline stakeholders who understand current supplier payments processes. But keep in mind that ‘bigger isn’t better’ when it comes to forming a project rollout team: having too many people involved makes meetings unwieldly, delays decision-making, clouds priorities and complicates communications with the technology provider. Limit the team to essential representatives from each of the stakeholders in the project.
Designate one member of the project rollout team to “champion” the effort with key constituents, give regular updates to stakeholders and keep senior management apprised of any issues.
Electronic payments deliver benefits across the enterprise. Gaining stakeholder consensus and establishing a strong project rollout team will help ensure your organization achieves these benefits.
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