Technology plays an integral role in modernizing accounting processes and streamlining an increasingly complicated operational landscape. Tools like automation are essential for achieving scalability and growth. But finance leaders must understand that all finance solutions are not created equal and results can greatly differ depending on the quality of service your technology provider offers.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Vendor
In a world where businesses are being forced to do more with less, the importance of having a streamlined accounts payable process has never been greater. In fact, per Gartner, less than one-third of CFOs are confident that their current technologies can secure the future success of their organization.
While investing in automation is a top priority for finance leaders in 2022, the question of which AP automation vendor to choose is one that’s fraught with challenges. With different options available on the market and low-performance standards set by technology providers, it can be difficult to know where to start or what you should expect from your digital investments.
Here Are Some Things That Should Make you Think Twice About Your AP Vendor:
They Provide Slow Cash Flow Returns
Above anything else, AP automation should always be preventative. It is entirely possible for AP automation to begin producing a return on investment from day 1. In most cases, the cash flow return should be immediate. If it isn’t, that’s a sign that something is off. A good vendor will work with you to ensure that your AP processes are as efficient as possible from the start, and will provide you with a clear roadmap of how to achieve your desired outcomes.
They Fail To Eliminate Wasted Spend
Wasted spend can be a major problem for finance teams across industries. In fact, a recent OpenEnvoy study identified that nearly 10% of invoices are duplicates, this means that businesses could be at risk to lose millions of dollars on simple invoicing errors. If your AP vendor is not catching invoice discrepancies and duplications before payments go out, this is a huge red flag. The latest technology can ensure every invoice is audited before you pay by automatically removing duplicate invoices, verifying surcharges, and offering spend insights to help with planning and spend management.
They Say you Can’t Maintain Your Existing Internal Tools
In many cases, the decision of which AP automation vendor to go with comes down to integration. After all, if a vendor isn’t able to integrate with your existing systems, then they’re not going to be able to provide much value. You should have full ownership over the ability to extract your data at any time while trusting that you have clean, 100% audited insights.
They Don’t Deliver Real-Time Spend Data
Having old data eliminates the accounting team’s ability to be proactive. Not only can this unreliable information lead to faulty decision-making, it can also put you at risk of fraud and compliance issues. Your vendor should provide data in real-time and have the ability to process high volumes of invoices within hours, not days. Having your spend data instantly available gives you complete visibility and helps you make informed decisions about your resources.
Inadequate Onboarding and Training
Investing in a new AP automation solution is a big decision, and one that should not be taken lightly. That’s why it’s so important to partner with a vendor who will be there for you every step of the way. A vendor that fails to support your team with an onboarding and training plan tailored to their specific needs is not worth your time and likely won’t help in driving internal adoption.
They Make You Hound Your Vendors to Set up Vendor Portals
Your vendors are busy enough without having to set up accounts just to be paid. The right AP automation vendor will accept invoices from your suppliers in any form. You should also expect them to maintain the integrity of your vendor master data to better identify fraudulent invoices when there are suspicious changes in key information.
There are Hidden Costs Associated with Support
When evaluating AP automation vendors, be sure to ask about all potential costs associated with the solution. Some vendors will try to nickel and dime you with hidden fees for things like onboarding, support, or even data migration. A good vendor will be up-front about all costs associated with their solution so that there are no surprises down the road.
Beyond something that simply gets the job done, today’s finance teams need an AP automation solution that will perform above expectations and allow them to focus on more strategic initiatives. To find the right solution for your organization, be sure to approach your automation journey strategically and communicate your desired outcomes with potential vendors. If they tell you they can meet your expectations, don’t settle for a low-performing system.
Ready to accelerate your AP processes and eliminate wasted spend? Connect with an OpenEnvoy expert today by scheduling a demo, visit https://openenvoy.com/contact-us/.