Is your Accounts Payable function “fighting fit”? 

Businesses and individuals have been “COVID slapped” so to speak, this begs the question, what do we do next? Do you simply wait for these challenging times to pass or do you take a long hard look at yourself and your business processes to find ways to get “fighting fit”?

Agility, running sprints, and fast pivots are phrases coined by tech firms celebrated for their ability to embrace change and move fast. These phrases are also characteristics that can be used to describe a strong execution for digital transformations, the first step in being ready to fight.

Is your Account Payable function fighting fit or just fighting to work?

Often riddled with archaic manual processes, slow turnaround, errors, and run on systems that do not support COVID work-from-home employees, many AP functions are fighting just to function. Pre-COVID there was little appetite for operational change, improving AP processes were assessed solely through a risk lens, and the more basic test, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Well, here’s the rub…

COVID has exposed the risk involved in not adopting automation and digital improvements. AP departments globally are struggling to function, while, simultaneously, COVID exposed the opportunity of AP Process Automation. According to CIO, 59% of IT decision-makers say that pressures stemming from the pandemic are accelerating their digital transformation efforts, according to an IDG Research business impact survey conducted in July. 

The AP transformation opportunity to ‘improve accuracy, ‘avoid costs’, and ‘improve efficiency’ is now! 

A high functioning AP team, harnessing machine learning, can lift the entire Finance Function by driving budget tracking, accurate accruals, cost avoidance, and establishing clean data. Machine learning to drive forecasts in a volatile environment is powerful.

After years of neglect, COVID is forcing teams across organizations, like Accounts Payable teams, to actively understand how Robotic Process Automation and Machine Learning can easily elevate and deliver best practice financial management and mitigate risk.

According to a KPMG survey, 67% of global CEOs agreed that “acting with agility is the new currency of business; if we are too slow, we will be bankrupt.” Teams without agility will fail. 

Digital Transformation is essential for business survival. It is now a business necessity and is no longer something to get around to. The Fujitsu study,  ‘Walking the digital tightrope’, shows us that companies that embraced digitization have improved their efficiencies by 39%.

COVID has forced stunning organizational changes in an amazingly short timeframe. 

  1. It has shown the executive teams that a whole company working from home is no problem.
  2. The new, highly-disruptive practices to keep customers and employees safe aren’t impacting sales, no problem.
  3. Adapting resources to meet COVID radical changes in customer behavior and managing customer expectations, with the right team supporting you, again, no problem.

The newfound corporate confidence in change management has led leaders to adopt a new way of working, no longer do they need extended team consulting periods to garner support and to successfully transform a process. Staff are primed and ready to adopt new ways of working and demonstrate their flexibility. 

Related Blogs:  Are your best people, doing manual, repetitive tasks?


Want to talk about getting your AP function to “punch above its weight”?  Contact us here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Bonita’s passionate about digital transformation and automating manual processes to reduce energy spend. With 25+ years of commercial experience across energy retailers and consultancy AU and UK, she is used to juggling priorities and has run her own small business while raising two energetic daughters.  She loves nothing more than breaking down the complex energy jargon and is proud to provide excellent client experience from start to finish.  More on Bonita here

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