As we see software becoming more prevalent in the finance industry, more finance teams are embracing innovative new solutions to help streamline their purchase to pay processes.
The difficulty is that most purchase to pay teams, who have mostly used manual paper-based systems, struggle to navigate the minefield of new complex solutions available to them. This is why, despite the advances made in financial software, most teams are still perfectly content to keep their familiar paper-based systems over a digital, automated purchase to pay system.
Choosing to make a change to your financial processes can be a daunting prospect for many finance professionals. With factors to consider such as the cost to implement the change and the time required to train users to consider, it’s not a decision to take lightly. This is especially the case with processes deeply ingrained in the infrastructure of your business; such as purchase to pay systems.
With so much jargon and buzzwords around these new solutions, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and see exactly what value a solution is going to deliver for you. But fear not. Here are my suggestions for the most important considerations to make, so you can block out all the “waffle” and understand exactly what’s available to you:
Features & Functionality
So firstly, functionality. You need to ask yourself, what are the specific needs you have from a purchase to pay system? What are the needs of the other stakeholders in your business who will be using the system to drive user adoption? This is going to be essential to have a successful system deployment, as without all purchases being logged on the system, you will have an inaccurate view of company spend and reduced benefits when it comes to automation and data analytics.
Look for a system that allows you to start simple but can scale as your business grows. Being able to adapt means you’ll always have a sustainable system that works around your business and there won’t be a need to change to a new system when you grow. Equally, keeping the costs down and keeping the initial phase simple, means you get the quick wins, like data capture and automation, and the system can be enhanced over time when you know what will add the most value to each stakeholder!
At the end of the day, paper invoice processing costs money. From the paper and ink to print them, to the time spent approving invoices, chasing and keying invoice data into your finance system, the pennies all add up over time; you might be surprised of how much your manual process is actually costing you! The opportunity for cost saving with real-time management of company spend and leveraging the knowledge of all spending activity with your suppliers can be significant.
There are many other considerations you may want to include for your specific situation, but my advice is to certainly include these three as a mandatory starting point. If you’d like to learn more about choosing the right purchase to pay solution for your business, you can get in touch and speak to our team. You can also watch a recording of our webinar, How purchase to pay automation provides real-time visibility over company spend, for additional information about automated purchase to pay software.
if you would like to find out more about how purchasing automation software can benefit your business, then follow the link below to read our free guide on the benefits, costs and value of implementing purchasing automation.