Busting the myth of complex AP deployments
Automation is the top priority of accounts payable departments at real estate firms, for good reason! Fully automated accounts payable solutions significantly reduce operational costs, eliminate errors and accelerate invoice approval. Fully automated solutions also enhance visibility into financial information and streamline access to invoice data for faster responsiveness to supplier inquiries.
But common misperceptions about the complexity of automating accounts payable freezes many real estate companies in their tracks. Less than one-quarter of all businesses describe their accounts payable department as being fully automated, the Institute of Finance and Management reports.
There is no question that automating accounts payable requires careful planning. Accounts payable involves a variety of documents, hundreds of business rules and requirements, fluctuating volumes, variable data on documents, numerous stakeholders, and integrations with downstream systems.
With that said, deploying an accounts payable solution isn’t as complex as you might think!
Thirty-nine percent of all businesses achieve payback on their accounts payable automation investments in 12 months or less because of a strong implementation strategy and selecting the right solution, Association for Image and Information Management research finds. In fact, more than 60 percent of businesses met or exceeded return on investment for their automation investments.
Successfully implementing an accounts payable solution starts with making sure that stakeholders are on the same page before the implementation begins. Having consensus among stakeholders on the detailed system requirements enables the project to be scoped, planned and implemented effectively. The system requirements should reflect the project objectives and the needs of the stakeholders (e.g. frontline users, procurement, treasury and senior management) and their target outcomes (e.g. improved reporting, more opportunities to capture early-payment discounts). Accounts payable departments that wait until the implementation begins to gather stakeholder requirements run the risk of delays, unclear requirements, costly change requests, and strained working relationships.