Evaluating Accounts Payable Automation Solutions

Whats Accounts Payable

Finance executives in organizations of all sizes are having to evaluate increasingly sophisticated and lucrative options in accounts payable automation solutions. Those that can identify and purchase the best available fit can unlock tremendous potential in the realm of cost-management and operational efficiency. Now, more than ever, it bears critical importance that the right pieces come together and the right decision is made.

The process of assessing accounts payable automation solutions is relatively straightforward. There are five key steps that can streamline the process and help Financial Executives arrive at logical choice that meets the needs of their business and its operations.

First, research the market and identify the leading contenders. The accounts payable automation software market is famously competitive. There are myriad of choices to make, and understanding the differentiations between providers and the strengths of their respective applications is essential. Acquiring this foundational knowledge is the cornerstone on which all else is built.

Second, focus on the critical features and understand exactly what the provider can offer. Most accounts payable software excels at different granular functions, and identifying exactly the things that directly align with the business goals is essential. Therefore, it is important to note which of these the product provides and compare them to competitors in the market.

Third, determine the intangible value the accounts payable provider can provide and consider it within the context of the business objectives. Beyond functions, programs can unlock deeply embedded value in the hands of capable provider. This could include some add-on services, such as access to smart accounts payable data, educational resources, or an additional layer of partnership. Dive deep and understand the provider’s history, attention to their customers, and clarify any interpretation of plans and promises.

Fourth, understand the process to transition out of the software. Many firms opt to switch providers within few years, so it is paramount that the process of doing so is clear and transparent. Those looking to switch providers should always ask questions and review exit materials beforehand to ensure smooth process.

Finally, understand the pricing structure and receive an itemized list of all costs. Many accounts payable solutions contain features or functions that are not initially apparent. These could be subject to additional fees or require certain add-ons. Having full understanding of the costs in this space?not only from the provider, but from internal sources, such as employee accompanying support staff, or other time investments?is essential.

Evaluating accounts payable automation software is easily full-time role for any Finance Executive. But, by taking necessary steps and performing diligent diligence, that role can become exponentially easier and the prospect for successful transition more attainable.