In part 1 of our article we discussed the different pieces of research that you needed to consider as you put together your business case for AP automation.  Part 2 is all about the potential benefits your company will receive from automation.  You’ve done all of the hard work, now it’s time to have some fun with your project!

After you’ve completed your research, it’s time to think like a sales person and make sure your executive team understands why it’s beneficial to your company to make the move to automation.  Make sure that you discuss benefits from multiple angles, including financial, forecasting, compliance, staffing, and security, as well as any “hot button” issues that you know your executive team tends to focuses on.  Here are a few examples to help you get started:

Save money.  Every company wants to save money and your company is no different.  Show the calculations on how much money you can save by avoiding late payments and interest penalties and how much you could potentially save with early payment discounts.

Deeper insights and better reporting.  Because all of your information is in a central database instead of on paper files, it’s easy to put together reports at a moment’s notice.  Forecasting is easier and more accurate with accurate and detailed information about cash flow, allowing better decisions to be made by the executive team.

Increase efficiency.  More invoices can be processed by the same amount of staff, so AP department headcount can stay the same or even be reduced while the workload is increased, all without sacrificing quality of work.

Better use of staff time.  Automation will enable your team to spend time on high-value work that they currently don’t have time to focus on, such as fraud prevention and reduction, customer service and vendor relations.

Better data security and audit trails.  It’s easy to track and manage who has access to what files, when files have been access and where they were access from as well as what changes were made.

Keep in mind that your executive team is looking for a high-level overview of how automation can benefit the entire company, not just one department, so try to think outside the box.  How can other departments benefit from AP automation?  As an example, if office space is at a premium in your company and AP files take a lot of room, AP automation would allow you to store those files digitally and would free up office space.  If you can justify the time and expense of the automation process across multiple parts of the company it will be easier for your executive team to agree to the expense.  Good luck!

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