AP Automation Is Coming: 3 Steps You Should Take to Prepare Your Team
Innovative organizations of all sizes—not just large, multisite companies—have every reason to consider automating accounts payable.
As we’ve written before, AP automation is an accurate, efficient and scalable solution for transforming accounts payable processes, allowing organizations to enjoy faster close cycles and empowering them to redeploy their existing employees in new and more strategic ways. But before any organization exchanges traditional OCR software for an AP automation service partner, they need to gauge their own readiness, and they need to take a few steps to prepare their internal AP team.
Our previous financial management blog detailed three questions organizations should ask before signing on the dotted line with any service provider. Today, we want to outline the three steps you need to take internally to prepare your current workforce for what’s coming.
Step 1: Smooth Change Management Begins With Clear Communication
As your organization prepares to transition to a finance and accounting service provider, clear communication will be very important. Remember, for veteran AP clerks, this transition may feel intimidating. Adopting an AP automation solution that removes manual processes and paper invoices empowers your employees to focus on core business needs instead of transactional tasks. Remind them that they aren’t being replaced—they are becoming more strategic. One way to combat anxiety is by providing very clear communication every step of the way, starting with the initial decision to work with a service partner. Sharing the project plan once it’s available and explaining how everyone’s roles will change are also important.
Step 2: Encourage Your Employees to Ask Questions and Give Feedback
Good communication is just the beginning. Helping your employees feel invested in the outcome of this transition is also important. Invite them to the kickoff meeting, talk to them about their goals for the upcoming transition, and listen to their questions and feedback. These are all great ways of helping your existing AP team develop a more personal investment in the project’s success.
Step 3: Have a Plan for the Future
For many organizations that have already transitioned to an F&A service partner, having the freedom to redeploy existing employees into more strategic and analytical roles was one of their chief reasons for doing so. To prepare your employees for their new roles, it’s important to have a plan in place, especially if your employees will need to receive any training beforehand. Your plan should also include a knowledge transfer period so that any important information can be shared with your service partner.
Bring More Value to Your Organization and Your Employees With AP Automation
There are many factors driving organizations to choose an F&A service provider over traditional OCR software, among them are cost-savings and improved accuracy and efficiency. But employees can benefit as well by moving into new roles that are more creative and challenging. Before your employees can make this transition, though, they need to be prepared. By communicating clearly with your employees, including them in the process and creating a detailed plan for their transition, you can help everyone on your AP team prepare for the future.