What to consider when considering Accounts Payable Automation

With so many good accounts payable automation software products available, how do you find the right solution and the right partner for your business?

Should you be looking to implement a product that manages your invoice processing or do you invest in a platform that can address multiple areas?

Here’s some things to consider when appraising different solutions and technology partners.

The Partner

Choosing the right company to partner with can be critical to the success of your project. Knowing their credentials and capability is paramount. When shortlisting the options, ask yourself how credible are they? Have they got a list of successful implementations in your industry? Are they able to provide market leading and best of breed applications? Do they have multiple customers that can provide references?

The importance of customisation

Despite the need for invoice processing in almost all businesses in day to day operations, the exact method differs depending on varied business rules. Ensuring your partner and solution can be customised for your requirements is essential to achieving success in your accounts payable automation project. Make sure you understand the limitations and restrictions of the proposed software. Many times the standard box product may in fact be sufficient to meet your needs, however, finding out later that you can’t make certain changes can be crippling to the objectives you started with.

Of course, in addition to the technology, the skills of your partner to customise the product are equally important – ask for proof of their capability before making a decision.

Can the solution be expanded throughout your business?

If you are investing in a solution to automate accounts payable processes, consider a platform that can be utilised in other areas also such as HR onboarding, asset management, field forms and operations, as well as company-wide document management, to name just a few.

Using this approach can provide a better return on investment, increased cost benefits and also increased user uptake as your staff are not needing to learn multiple systems. Why invest in a solution that can only tackle one area of your business when you can make the same financial investment and manage multiple processes? Look for a solution that is scalable throughout all areas of your company to optimise your bang for buck.

Understand the Support Model

Does the technology partner offer local support, implementation and onsite training? Is there a wealth of resources available or an online support community that can be utilised? Having the right resources and technical support helps ensure successful uptake, along with a good user experience.  It can also be critical when it comes to change management, knowing you have access to an experienced partner who can assist as you navigate the knowledge gaps helps maximise the best practice and user acceptance.

Know the Total Cost

The lowest price doesn’t always deliver you the cheapest solution. Ensure the scope of the project will reduce labour time in processing various parts of your invoice data from data entry, to Invoice and PO matching, to archiving and retrieving the information. Digitising your accounts payable process doesn’t always mean it becomes more efficient. Especially if it’s difficult to implement, change or use. Be clear on your project outcomes and have tangible objectives in place that allow you to measure success against. Ask for customer outcomes in the form of case studies and customer references of similar projects delivered by the technology partner.

Also consider the wholistic project costs such as software, licensing, ongoing support and professional services (PS) time. For example, is the quote provided inclusive of the professional services hours required to deliver the entire project, or will you be surprised with additional PS costs part way to completion? Understand exactly what you’re paying for.

With so many key factors to consider when choosing the correct solution for your business, there’s a lot riding on making the right choice. With hundreds of successful and unique solutions provided across multiple market segments, Upstream have the experience and knowledge to ensure you get the best value out of your accounts payable automation solution. Why not book in a free consultation and we’ll help you make sure you’ve covered all your bases.